TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As nearly 5.5 million Floridians are hitting the road this holiday, the Florida Highway Patrol is encouraging safe travel during the season’s festivities.
Between Dec. 11 and Jan. 1, 2020, FHP is sharing the message of Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
“Florida Highway Patrol troopers and law enforcement officers statewide are trained to spot the signs of impaired driving, and will be out in force this holiday season,” said director of the Florida Highway Patrol, Colonel Gene S. Spaulding. “Impairment can cause drowsiness, an inability to react appropriately in simple situations, and a false sense of alertness.”
Last December, there were 549 alcohol-impaired driving crashes, which was the most for any month in 2018, as well as 57 drug-impaired and 34 alcohol and drug-impaired crashes in Florida.
Nationally, 36 people, on average, died every day in crashes involving alcohol between 2001 and 2005, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
On New Year’s Day, that number rose to an average of 54.
Earlier this year financial website, ValuePenguin, named Sarasota and Lakeland as the first and second-most dangerous cities for DUI-related fatalities.
Sarasota averaged 12.2 deaths per 100,000 residents per year over a recent three-year period, which is nearly twice as deadly as the second most dangerous city, Lakeland.
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