Authorities are cracking down on disabled drivers with a new safety campaign.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has partnered with the Florida Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies across the US to remind motorists of the importance of safe driving.
The drive sober or stopped campaign, launched Aug. 18, 2023, is led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, local publication Ocala News reported.
The raid lasts until September 4th.
During the campaign period, FHP soldiers will have an increased presence throughout Florida.
Patrol officers will be stationed on freeways across the state closely monitoring motorists – they are prepared and ready to pull disabled drivers off the road.
“There is absolutely no excuse for driving with an impairment, and the devastation, pain and death it can cause is lasting,” said Dave Kerner, executive director of FLHSMV.
“The Florida Highway Patrol is passionate about getting disabled drivers off the road and jailed, and has full authority to take any action necessary to protect the public from the harm disabled drivers cause. “
Impaired driving is a preventable measure, but FHP says the numbers show it’s a serious, ongoing problem.
Reportedly, this time of year has historically seen a spike in drink-driving-related deaths.
The campaign aims to raise awareness and increase enforcement efforts to curb the usual surge.
In Florida, over 50 percent of all deaths over the 2022 Labor Day holiday weekend were attributed to an impaired driver.
Last year saw an increase of over 25 percent over the 2021 bank holiday weekend.
FHP Director Colonel Gary Howze said law enforcement officers were aggressively searching for disabled drivers across the state.
“There will be no tolerance for disabled drivers – there must always be a designated driver or ride-sharing service available.”
Driving under the influence of alcohol can have serious and life-threatening effects on you and other road users, but that’s not all: even if you don’t hurt anyone, you can still be penalized for the dangerous act.
In Florida, a driver’s license can be revoked for a minimum of 180 days for each drunk driving conviction—and the points and penalties must remain on an individual’s record for 75 years.
Anyone who refuses to pass a mandatory roadside inspection at the time of arrest will automatically have their driver’s license revoked for one year.
Fines associated with driving under the influence of alcohol can range from $500 to $5,000 with mandatory driver training.
Other penalties can include ignition lockout, community service, probation, or even imprisonment.