TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says, typically the department sees an increase in fatal crashes from the end of October through January.
“A number of that is related to just more vehicles on the roadway. People are excited about the holiday, they are rushing to get here or there,” explained Master Deputy Jerry Carey.
Master Deputy Carey says around New Year’s Eve many of the crashes are due to drivers who are drunk behind the wheel.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — midnight to 3 a.m. is the worst time of day on Jan. 1, when about 30 percent of the day’s fatal crashes happen. On New Year’s Eve, 44 percent of the crashes came between 6 and 9 p.m.
This is why law enforcement will be out in full force.
”We will be looking for those impaired drivers. Please stay off the roadways not only is it a danger to you as the driver but you put other people on the roadway in danger as well,” said Carey.
In the days leading up to New Year’s Eve agencies have made a push to remind people of the dangers of drinking and driving.
St. Pete police got the word out about a new City Ordinance; if you are arrested for DUI it will cost you $500 just to get your car back. The change started November 10, 2017.
Temple Terrace people send out this newsletter reminding people it is cheaper to call an uber than to pay the average $6,500 for the first DUI.
Law enforcement says plan to have a designated driver, or call a ride-sharing service/taxi.
AAA even offers a free ride home with their Tow to Go program.
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