The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has increased DUI patrols out on the roads until New Year's Day. The move was made possible by a $145,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. The money will also pay for a public education campaign in local high schools.
News Channel 8 rode along with Hillsborough Sheriff's Cpl. Scott Sitton on Christmas night in Brandon. Sitton pulled over one driver for speeding, who later admitted to drinking at a family party.
"I had a couple of beers and maybe a shot and I was trying to get home," driver Curtis Brown told News Channel 8.
A deputy performed several field sobriety tests on Brown. The deputy told Sitton that Brown passed the tests. Brown was issued a warning for speeding, but he wasn't allowed to drive away. He had to call a friend to drive his car home.
Hillsborough County led the state in 2011 for DUI related fatalities with 67.
"It's a bad idea to drink alcohol and get behind of the wheel of a car because it could lead to tragedy and that's the last thing we want to happen during anytime of the year, but especially the holidays," said Sitton.
More than 4,600 DUI violations were issued to drivers in Hillsborough County last year.
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