PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — As you head out for New Year's celebrations, remember: If you don't drive sober, you'll get pulled over.
"This will be the first time that law enforcement from Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade have come together to put out a unified message for the New Year's holiday," said Major Robert Chandler with the Florida Highway Patrol at a news conference Monday morning. "We will have an increased presence on the roadways and will be actively looking for dangerous and impaired drivers."
FHP, @PBCountySheriff and other agencies across South Florida are sending out a unified message on #NewYearsEve2018. There will be an increased presence on the roads w/ the goal of zero deaths due to DUI related crashes. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/CpkXjWrV3G
— Ryan Hughes (@HughesWPTV) December 31, 2018
On New Year's Eve night, law enforcement across the area will be out in full force, trying to protect you on the road.
"Our goal is zero death due to a DUI-related traffic crash on the New Year's holiday," said Major Chandler.
You will see countless FHP troopers out and about across all of South Florida as they actively look to remove dangerous and impaired drivers from the roadways.
“I was lucky that night, I was very lucky,” said PBSO Investigator Lenndy Chiquito-Rodriguez.
Investigator Chiquito-Rodriguez is still on light duty and recovering after surviving a horrific crash.
She’s part of the DUI Enforcement for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, but on December 11 while stopped at a red light in her cruiser, she says she was hit by a drunk driver.
“It caused me to hit another vehicle that was also at the red light beside me, and lucky for me obviously the injuries were not life threatening,” she said. “It’s a very simple decision of if you’re going to consume alcohol and/or drugs, you should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.”
While agencies across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast plan for a busy night, FHP is planning a huge campaign where they will saturate I-595, I-75, and Sawgrass Expressway with dozens of troopers and officers.
They are doing everything they can to prevent another drunk driving death, and here's some sobering stats to remind you why:
- Florida averages 841 drunk-driving deaths annually
- Drunk driving is a factor in a fourth of all of the state's traffic fatalities.
- And nationwide, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash every two minutes.
People out partying can also take advantage of towing programs where tow truck agencies will tow you and your car free of charge back to your home.
AAA's Tow To Go program will provide a tow of your car and a ride home within 10 miles. You can’t book Tow to Go ahead of time, It's designed as a safety net for those who did not plan ahead.
If you need to use the program, call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO. It is being offered through 6 a.m. Wednesday.
If you're heading down south to celebrate in the Fort Lauderdale area, Sal's Towing in Broward County wants you to swallow your pride and call for a ride.
The company will deliver you and your car to your home free of charge. Just call 954-566-5155.
There's also the ride share apps like Uber and Lyft to find a quick and easy ride home without endangering the lives of others.