FLHSMV March Public Safety Campaign Never Drive Impaired Focuses on Education and Raising Awareness of the Impacts of Driving While Impaired

Never Drive Impaired

~In 2023, 10% of Impaired Driving Crashes in Florida Occurred in March~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This spring, The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), our division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), along with our campaign partners at The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA), The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA), and AAA-The Auto Club Group want to remind Florida residents and visitors to enjoy the beautiful weather and Never Drive Impaired.

Driving impaired has real consequences, negatively impacting thousands of Floridians and visitors yearly. To raise awareness of the negative impacts of driving impaired and to reduce impaired-driving-related crashes and fatalities across the state, throughout March, FLHSMV and FHP will spearhead an impaired-driving awareness campaign titled Never Drive Impaired which will prioritize safety and stress the importance of making responsible decisions before getting behind the wheel.

“There is no excuse for driving while impaired,” said Executive Director Dave Kerner. “An average of 1,200 people die in Florida a year because of impaired driving in Florida. That’s 1,200 preventable deaths and 1,200 broken families. Choosing to drive while under the influence not only endangers yourself but also poses a serious threat to other drivers on the road.”

“Impaired driving is a serious safety issue that puts not only the impaired driver but also the passengers and other road users at risk,” said FHP Colonel Gary Howze II. “Your Florida Highway Patrol and our law enforcement partners will be out conducting safety enforcement, but everyone who gets behind the wheel must also do their part by taking responsibility for their actions and not driving while impaired.”

“Springtime brings more travelers to the sunshine state, which means our roadways will be even busier, and we want everybody to be able to reach their destinations safely,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. “Driving under the influence can change your life, and the lives of others, in mere seconds. We stand united with our partners to prioritize safety and stress the importance of making responsible decisions before getting behind the wheel. Always be safe and never drive impaired on Florida’s roadways.”

“Our beautiful coastlines, venues, and theme parks bring an influx of young people each spring to enjoy all that Florida offers. To keep our residents and visitors safe, we partner with the Florida Highway Patrol to educate on the dangers of impaired driving. Florida’s sheriffs are in full support of the Never Drive Impaired campaign as it saves lives and makes the roads safer for everyone,” said Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper, President, Florida Sheriffs Association.

FPCA President Charles Broadway, Chief Clermont Police Department said, “As we gear up for this year’s Never Drive Impaired campaign, the Florida Police Chiefs Association wants to remind everyone of the power they hold in making our roads safer. Every time you decide to drive sober, you are making a choice that protects you, your loved ones, and your community. We encourage all Floridians to join us in this mission, not just in March, but every day.”

“Celebrating safely should always include a sober ride home for everyone involved,” said Michele Harris, Florida Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Plan before you head out and, never drive impaired.”

In March 2023, there were 1,359 crashes involving an impaired driver, with alcohol confirmed in 1,201 of those crashes. Additionally, March 2023 saw nearly 100 fatalities and over 100 serious bodily injuries. Individuals in the 20-29 age group were the most reported age group in crashes, with 306 alcohol-related crashes, followed closely by the 30-39 age group, with 302 alcohol-related crashes.

Of the 13,596 impaired-driving crashes – those influenced by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both – in Florida in 2023, 10% (1,359) occurred in March. Historically, citations issued for driving under the influence (DUI) and open-container violations are at their highest during March. There were 4,033 DUI citations, and 877(733 operator and 144 passenger) open-container citations were issued in Florida last March.

Impaired driving is not limited to just alcohol; it could also involve recreational and pharmaceutical drugs. While still nowhere near the same frequency of alcohol impairment, drug impairment has steadily increased every year since 2014. In March 2023, 355 crashes were drug-confirmed.

Unlike alcohol, there is no specific impairment limit with marijuana. Marijuana affects everyone differently and can remain in a person’s system much longer than alcohol.

Marijuana is the most prevalent drug for teenagers and young adults involved in crashes in Florida. Individuals in the 30-39 age group were the most reported age group in crashes, with 99 drug-related crashes, followed closely by the 20-29 age group at 91 drug-related crashes.

Under Florida law, driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of how the offense is proven.


  • For any DUI conviction, your driver’s license will be revoked for a minimum of 180 days.
  • If you refuse to take a required roadside test at the time of arrest, your license will be automatically suspended for one year.
  • Fines for DUI can range from $500 to $5,000 with mandatory DUI school education.
  • Penalties can include an ignition interlock device, community service, probation or imprisonment.
  • DUI convictions must remain on your record for 75 years.


  • Driving under the influence of drugs is driving impaired.
  • It’s important to know that mixing drugs and alcohol often multiplies their effects. For example, one drink, when you are taking allergy or cold medication could have the same effect as several drinks.
  • If you feel different, you drive differently.

FHP and law enforcement officers statewide are trained to spot the signs of impaired driving and are constantly monitoring Florida’s roadways to keep everyone safe. While they must keep our roadways safe, it is also every driver’s responsibility to do their part.


Under the influence of alcohol and drugs, drivers can experience:

  • A slow reaction time.
  • Limited short-term memory functions.
  • Decreased hand-eye coordination.
  • Weakened concentration.
  • Difficulty perceiving time and distance.

Always be safe and accountable behind the wheel. Driving impaired puts you and everyone else on the road in danger. Impairment is no illusion. Never Drive Impaired.

For more information on the types of impairment, campaign resources, data, and more, visit FLHSMV’s Impaired Driving webpage.


The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education, and enforcement. Learn more on our website.

The Florida Highway Patrol strives to achieve core values of courtesy, service, and protection. It is FHP’s job to help ensure the safety and welfare of millions of Florida’s residents and visitors every day.

To learn more about FHP or how to become one of Florida’s Finest, visit