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Drive sober

Hey Sarasota!  Drive Sober OR Get Pulled Over

| Suncoast Post Staff |

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 Sarasota Police Department and NHTSA want all drivers to remember this lifesaving message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Drivers will see officers working together from December 16, 2022, through January 1, 2023, to take drunk drivers off the roads.

According to NHTSA, 11,654 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2020 that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2016 to 2020, and one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 45 minutes in 2020. 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.

“It’s important that drivers act responsibly, including refraining from impaired driving,” said Sergeant Anthony Frangioni, Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit. “The holidays are a special time of year for many, and we want our community members to enjoy this season. We need drivers’ commitment to keeping the roads free of drunk drivers so everyone can have a safe holiday. This enforcement period allows us to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior,” said Sgt. Frangioni. 

The Sarasota Police Department and NHTSA remind citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely. “Drunk driving is unacceptable behavior,” said Sgt. Frangioni.  “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. There are too many resources to get you home safely. There are just no excuses for drunk driving,” said Sgt. Frangioni.

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:

  • Remember that it is never okay 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 to transport them and their vehicle to a safe location within 10 miles. Tow-to-Go can 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.

Photo from Sarasota Police Department

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