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Law enforcement agencies urge safety on New Year's Eve

Officials seek zero deaths due to DUI/BUI-related crashes
Posted at 12:58 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 18:14:11-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Multiple law enforcement agencies came together Friday to promote a safe start to the new year on South Florida roads and waterways.

The Florida Highway Patrol, along with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission held a news conference in West Palm Beach.

More than 50 troopers, FWC officers and deputies attended the briefing along with Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner and Heather Geronemus of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Law enforcement agencies urge safety on New Year's Eve

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said they wanted to send the message that law enforcement will have an increased presence on the roadways and waterways for New Year's Eve.

"This evening there will also be more state troopers out looking for impaired drivers, and tomorrow morning in the early hours, there will be extra troopers coming out early for their shift also looking for impaired drivers," FHP Major Robert Chandler said.

The agencies said they will be actively looking to remove dangerous and impaired drivers from the roads and waterways in South Florida.

"We want to remind boaters that boating while impaired by alcohol or drugs is dangerous and illegal," said FWC spokesman Tyson Matthews. "Our officers will be looking for impaired operators, and these operators will face arrest if found to be under the influence."

According to their 2020 boating accident statistics, Matthews said that 23% of boating crashes and fatalities involved alcohol or drugs.

Officials said their goal is zero deaths due to DUI/BUI-related crashes during the New Year's holiday.

Heather Geronemus, chairwoman of Mothers Against Drunk Driving's national board of directors
Heather Geronemus speaks about how an impaired driver took the life of her father.

Geronemus shared a message about the long-lasting consequences of driving impaired.

"My dad will never be back, so you know, it's something that it's been almost 13 years. That's why Mothers Against Drunk Driving is so important to me because they serve victims. We serve victims 24/7, 365 days a year to get through this horrible loss," Geronemus said.

Troopers said they wrote 60 speeding citations in just two hours on Interstate 95 Friday, which included one driver traveling 137 mph.

Officials remind drivers that if you are cited going 30 mph over the speed limit, it will lead to an automatic appearance in court.

"If we stop you, and you are impaired by alcohol and or drugs or both, you will be subject to arrest. State troopers do not call Uber, Lyft, a cab or a friend, but we will take you to jail," Chandler said.