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Partnership Policing Communications Coordinator (PIO)
Genevieve Judge
Desk Phone: 941-954-7094
Fax: 941-954-7034
Genevieve.Judge@SarasotaFL.gov

Stay Safe this Labor Day: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Post Date:08/14/2019 1:23 PM

During the 2019 Labor Day holiday, the Sarasota Police Department will again partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives. 

The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from August 14 through September 2, 2019.  During this time and throughout the year, the Sarasota Police Department will show 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, 10,874 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2017.  On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2013 to 2017 - one person was killed in drunk driving crashes every 48 minutes in 2017.  It’s why the Sarasota Police Department works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 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.

Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem on our nation’s roads.  If drivers are impaired by any substance, alcohol or drugs, they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.  Driving while impaired is illegal.  The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI.

“Labor Day should be a time for friends and family to come together to enjoy the last days of summer,” said Officer Tim Bales, Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit Officer.  “We need commitment from our community members that they’ll keep the streets free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe holiday.  This is a campaign to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives.  Help us put an end to this senseless behavior,” he said. 

There are many resources available to get drivers home safely.  “Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior,” said Officer Bales.  “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why, during the Labor Day holiday, we will make zero exceptions for drunk driving. There are just no excuses,” he said.  The Sarasota Police Department recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • Remember it is never okay to drink and drive.  Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely. 
  • Use a sober ride sharing program including AAA Tow to Go, Uber, Lyft, Taxi or friends and family.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911 or your local law enforcement agency.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive?  Take the keys away and plan to get your friend home safely.

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