The Florida Highway Patrol joins more than 10,000 participating police departments and law enforcement agencies across the nation this holiday season to participate in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, to protect the public and get drunk drivers off the roads. This year’s crackdown started on December 15 and will continue until January 1, 2015.
Data from the National Highway Safety Administration shows that drunk driving deaths nationwide declined by 2.5 percent in 2013. Yet, even with this decrease from the previous year, 10,076 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver in 2013 — one death every 52 minutes. December 2013 was the month with the lowest number of drunk driving fatalities, 733 lives lost.
In 2013, nearly 20 percent of all fatal crashes in Florida were alcohol related. During last year’s campaign, 421 impaired drivers were removed from the roads, preventing them from hurting themselves or others.
“It will be hard to enjoy the holiday season when you are sitting in a jail cell or worse,” said Colonel David H. Brierton, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Drunk driving affects not only you, but your family, friends and the innocent motorists you happen to come in contact with. Be responsible and designate a sober driver this holiday season.”
Protect your family, your friends and yourself by following these tips:
• Plan ahead. If you plan on drinking while away from home, designate a sober driver. Even one drink increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle.
• Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to ensure you get home safely.
• Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, call *FHP (*347). This call could save a life.