FHP Officials on the Hunt for Intoxicated Drivers through Holidays

Officials with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and many local law enforcement agencies throughout the state are beefing up their patrols to help to stop drunk driving accidents throughout the remainder of the holiday season, including New Year’s Eve.

“We plan on having patrols who are specifically tasked with apprehending drivers who are under the influence,” said Lt. James Harris with the FHP.

Our Boca Raton injury attorneys understand that December is one of the most dangerous months of the year for these kinds of accidents. With the holiday season, there are plenty of opportunities to hang out with friends and celebrate. Unfortunately, too many of these celebrations involve too much alcohol and not enough responsible drivers.

A 12-ounce beer, a shot of hard liquor and a five-ounce glass of wine all contain the same amount of alcohol. The adult body can only process one of these each hour. When you figure someone attends a 3-hour party, they may have a drink before dinner, two glasses of wine at dinner and maybe an Irish coffee with dessert. That person is likely too drunk to drive. Just because you don’t feel intoxicated, know that your abilities to operate a motor vehicle are altered with each and every drink.

In 2010, from December 16th through January 3rd, there were close to 500 motorists who were arrested for drunk driving. More than 40,000 motorists were also cited during this time. It was all a part of the “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit.Under Arrest.,” initiative.

“Motorists who operate their vehicles in an unsafe fashion are a danger that puts innocent lives at risk,” says John Czernis with the FHP.

When heading out for your next holiday party, we’re asking everyone to go out with a plan to party responsibly and to keep an eye out for loved ones.

Drunk Driving Safety Tips:

-Don’t drink. Take the time to enjoy friends and family instead of focusing on the booze.

-If you’re going to drink, make sure that you have a plan. Make sure you’re not drinking on an empty stomach, pace yourself and make sure you have a sober way to get home.

-If you don’t have a safe way to get home or a place to stay and decide to camp out for the night in your car, make sure that the car is not running and the keys are nowhere near the ignition. In the state of Florida, a person can be prosecuted for drunk driving if they are in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. What this means, according to the interpretation of the law, is that one has the ability to control use and non-use (meaning that you can drive the vehicle if you wanted to). Keep the keys away from the ignition!

-Keep a list of cab numbers in your wallet.

-Keep an eye on your friends and family members. Make sure none of them get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

-Designate a (sober) driver to get you home at the end of the night.