HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Law enforcement agencies throughout Hillsborough County are teaming up to keep local roads and waterways safe during Memorial Day weekend.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Tampa Police Department, FWC and the Florida Highway Patrol are adding patrol officers on the roads during peak travel hours.
“Last year 729 people in this community were injured by an impaired driver, another 13 lost their lives,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister explained.
The agencies will kick off “Operation Safe and Sober”, on Thursday. The effort will conclude on Tuesday.
“We want everyone to think twice before they get behind the wheel or behind the boat,” Tampa’s Interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw said.
Leaders with AAA expect 2.1 million Floridians to hit the roads over the weekend.
“Last year we made of 20 DUI arrests just for Memorial Day weekend,” Bercaw added. “The sheriff’s office made about the same and we’re anticipating more this year.”
“Driving under the influence is not just alcohol. Our officers are trained in narcotic detection,” Bercaw said.
Chronister expects a 50% to 75% increase in boats on the water.
“You have a ton, a ton of resources: from the unmarked cars, those patrol cars, some of the vehicles have portable breathalyzers,” Chronister said. “Please, I’m begging everybody, have a plan before the party gets started.”