Police Department partnering with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to try to prevent drunk driving
“This holiday season, the Sarasota Police Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to share the vital message about the dangers of drunk driving,” the Police Department has announced.
“The Sarasota Police Department and NHTSA want all drivers to remember this lifesaving message,” a news release points out: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
Drivers will see officers working together from Dec. 16 through Jan. 1, 2023 “to take drunk drivers off the roads,” the release says.
The NHTSA has reported that, in 2020, 11,654 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver, the release continues. “On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year [in such incidents] from 2016 to 2020, and one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 45 minutes in 2020,” the release says. “This is why the Sarasota Police Department is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to the holiday festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” the release adds.
“It’s important that drivers act responsibly, including refraining from impaired driving,” said Sgt. Anthony Frangioni, a member of the Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit, in the release. “The holidays are a special time of year for many, and we want our community members to enjoy this season,” he added in the release. “We need drivers’ commitment to keeping the roads free of drunk drivers so everyone can have a safe holiday,” Frangioni said. “Help us put an end to this senseless behavior.”
The Sarasota Police Department and NHTSA are reminding members of the public that many resources are available to enable them to get home safely from events. “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party,” Frangioni pointed out in the release. “There are just no excuses for drunk driving.”
Nationally, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is illegal, except in Utah, where the limit is .05, the release notes. “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 release emphasizes.
The Sarasota Police Department recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
- Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive. “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.
- “Use AAA’s Tow-to-Go program.” The service is free for anyone; it includes ensuring that the both an individual and the person’s vehicle are taken to a safe location within 10 miles. Tow-to-Go may be reached at 1-855-286-9246.
- “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 make arrangements to get your friend home safely.”