Sarasota Police Remind Drivers to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over In Effort to End Drunk Driving

SARASOTA, Fla. -- August 17, 2017 -- 2 p.m.

The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday.  The long weekend is typically celebrated through picnics, pool parties and barbecues, as families and friends enjoy the last few days of summer.

Sadly, the Labor Day holiday is also one of the deadliest, with drunk drivers endangering themselves and others on the road.  This year, the Sarasota Police Department is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to stop drunk drivers and help save lives.

The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from Friday, August 18 through Monday, September 4, 2017.  Sarasota Police has zero tolerance for drunk driving.  Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.

According to NHTSA, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015, an increase from the 9,967 people killed in 2014.  On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2011 to 2015—one person killed every 51 minutes in 2015.  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 Labor Day festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

“We’re stressing the dangers of driving impaired to our community,” said Sergeant Bruce King, Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit.  “Drunk driving is a massive problem in the United States, with more than 10,000 people dying each year.  If you’re out on the roads and you see someone driving drunk, please call us. You could help save a life,” said Sgt. King.

Sarasota Police Department recommends safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

·       Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.

·       Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices.  SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.

·       Use AAA’s Tow to Go Program by calling 1-855-2-TOW-2-GO (1-855-286-9246) from Friday, September 1st until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, September 5th.  

·       If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement immediately.

·       Have a friend who is about to drink and drive?  Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.