Authorities plan New Year’s Eve DUI saturation in Hillsborough

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) — Ringing in the new year with a few drinks?  If you’re like many, you are.  Law enforcement officers say there’s nothing wrong with that. Just so you don’t get behind the wheel of a car.

Officers across the bay area will be out in force looking for drivers who’ve had one too many.

In Hillsborough County, sheriff’s deputies are teaming up with Tampa Police Officers and Florida Highway Patrol Troopers looking for drunk drivers.  The so-called saturation is aimed at getting those impaired drivers off the road before they hurt themselves, or others.  Sgt. Jason Napoli is coordinating the event on the sheriff’s office side.

Sgt. Jason Napoli is coordinating the event on the sheriff’s office side.

“Do not drink and drive. It’s that simple,” said Napoli.  “If you’re going to drink, that’s fine.  But use the resources that we have available to us.  Whether it be taxi cabs, uber, call a friend, call a family member.  But do not drink and get behind the wheel of a car.”

“If you’re going to drink, that’s fine.  But use the resources that we have available to us.  Whether it be taxi cabs, uber, call a friend, call a family member.  But do not drink and get behind the wheel of a car.”

Sheriff’s deputies will be concentrating their efforts in the Brandon area, but they caution drivers that officers, deputies and troopers will be patrolling county wide.

In the past, authorities would set up DUI check points where motorists would have to navigate through cones to prove they weren’t impaired.  This saturation is much different.

Law enforcement officers set up a mobile breath testing lab and seek out impaired drivers.  When they nab a driver, they bring him or her to the testing lab and then return to patrol.  A jail transport van then takes the driver to central booking.  The process, much like an assembly line processing the drivers, keeps more officers on the street.

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