SARASOTA, Fla. – The Sarasota Police Department is again participating in the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ impaired driving awareness campaign, which runs from August 18 through September 4, 2023.
Many Americans look at the Labor Day holiday weekend as the unofficial end of summertime. No matter how you plan to celebrate the end of the season this year, the Sarasota Police Department wants to make sure you plan it safely.
Residents and visitors will see Sarasota Police officers working around the clock to take impaired drivers off the roads.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 13,384 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2021. That’s one person every 39 minutes.
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On average, more than 11,000 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes each year from 2017 to 2021.
This is why the Sarasota Police Department is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal but also a matter of life and death.
Always remember to: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
“It’s our first priority to keep people safe,” said Sergeant Anthony Frangioni, of the Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit. “The Drive Sober campaign is an awareness effort to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal, and it takes lives. Help us protect the community and put an end to this senseless behavior,” said Sgt. Frangioni.
During the 2021 Labor Day holiday period, September 3 through September 7, there were 531 crash fatalities nationwide. Of these 531 traffic crash fatalities, 41% (216) involved a drunk driver, and more than a quarter (27%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC, almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC).
Among drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2021, 488% of those drivers were drunk, with BACs of .08 or higher.
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Nationally, driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal, except in Utah, where the limit is .05. The costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.
The Sarasota Police Department recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
- Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver, plan to use a ride service, or call a taxi or a sober friend to get home safely.
- Take advantage of the City of Sarasota’s free Bay Runner trolley.
- Contact law enforcement immediately if you see a drunk driver on the road. In the City of Sarasota, dial 911 or 941-316-1199.
- Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and plan to get your friend home safely.
For more information on impaired driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.
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