Florida Highway Patrol encourages giving the gift of a designated driver

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

During this holiday season, the Florida Highway Patrol joins law enforcement across the nation cracking down on impaired driving by sharing the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. The enforcement campaign runs from December 18, 2015 through Jan. 3, according to a press release.

From Dec. 16, 2014 to Jan. 1, 2015, 20 people were killed in Florida from alcohol-related crashes. Of the 288 alcohol-related crashes that occurred over the same time period, 20 percent occurred on New Year’s Eve.

“Troopers and other law enforcement officers will be actively looking for impaired drivers during this holiday season,” said Col. Gene Spaulding, director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “One life lost due to a preventable tragedy is one too many. If you drink, be responsible. Give the gift of being a sober, designated driver or arrange one for yourself as you celebrate the holidays.”

Protect your family, your friends and yourself by following these tips:

• Plan ahead. If you plan on drinking while away from home, designate a sober driver. Even one drink increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle.

• Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to ensure you get home safely.

• Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, call *FHP (*347). This call could save a life.

To help ensure your safety, the Florida Highway Patrol will be out in force on the highways to provide assistance to motorists, as well as to get impaired drivers off the road. If you need help or see someone driving

who you think might be impaired, call *FHP (*347) on your cell phone.

Over 2,000 crashes per day occurred on Florida roads in the days before Christmas last year as people travel for the holidays.

To make sure you get to your holiday destination and back home safely, FHP has the following travel tips:

• Your seat belt is your vehicle’s best safety feature. Buckle Up!

• Don’t drink and drive. If you are planning to have drinks, make sure you have a designated driver to make sure everyone gets home safely.

• Don’t drive distracted. Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving.

• Get plenty of rest before you head out on your journey. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

• Obey the speed limit and practice courtesy on the highway. You’re not the only one trying to get somewhere for the holidays.