Chief Ken Howes or
Florida Highway Patrol
For Release Monday, December 23, 2002:
Colonel Knight discusses FHP's plans for DUI enforcement
for the You Drink and Drive...You Lose campaign during a
December 20, 2002 press conference in Tallahassee
TALLAHASSEE: Colonel Chris Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, today announced statewide traffic enforcement plans for the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Zero tolerance enforcement strategies targeting impaired drivers will be implemented throughout the state in an effort to reduce traffic deaths and injuries during the last two holiday periods of the year. The 48-hour Christmas holiday period will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, December 24, 2002, and end at midnight, Wednesday, December 25, 2002. The 96-hour New Year's holiday period will run from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, December 31, 2002, through midnight, Wednesday, January 1, 2003.
Last year, 42 persons were killed in 39 traffic crashes during the 96-hour Christmas holiday; also, 29 people were killed in 27 traffic crashes during the 96-hour New Year’s holiday. "During these two holiday periods, our troopers will focus on the most frequent causes of fatalities during this holiday season - driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and failure to use occupant restraints," said Colonel Knight. As in the past, Colonel Knight has instructed all available troopers and supervisors to discontinue office duties, and heavily patrol interstates, major state roads, and Florida’s turnpike throughout both holiday weekends.
In addition, FHP troopers are joining law enforcement officers representing hundreds of other Florida law enforcement agencies as part of a national DUI enforcement mobilization called "You Drink and Drive...You Lose". The campaign began on December 20th and will continue through January 5, 2003. This is the first of five (5) DUI/occupant protection mobilizations that are planned during the next 12 months.
Motorists are again encouraged this year to take advantage of the "TOW TO GO" program. The program is a partnership between Anheuser-Busch, AAA of Florida, and law enforcement to encourage safe rides home for the holiday season. The program offers adults who choose to drink alcoholic beverages a free ride home and a free tow of their vehicle. "TOW TO GO" is very simple to use; adults needing a ride home from bars, restaurants, or home parties may simply call 1-800-AAA-HELP. AAA will dispatch a tow truck and will take both the driver and the vehicle home free of charge. This service, available through January 1, 2003, is available to everyone, both AAA members and non-members.
Motorists equipped with cellular telephones are encouraged to report drunk and/or aggressive drivers, and other highway emergencies on their cellular telephone by dialing *FHP (*347); doing so will connect the caller to the closest Florida Highway Patrol office. The call is toll-free.