Florida Highway Patrol reported they responded to 65% fewer auto accident-related deaths involving alcohol over the long Labor Day week-end. They investigated 7 deaths in 2009 compared to 20 in 2008. While the state-wide numbers have not been tabulated, Col. John Czernis, director of the Florida Highway Patrol, attributed the drop in fatalities to their special emphasis on arresting drunk drivers.
There was a national campaign going on from August 21 through September 7, which included the Labor Day week-end. Law enforcement across the nation were focusing on the Over the Limit. Under Arrest. campaign in an effort to save us all from drunk drivers.
FHP troopers also put extra effort on their Be Smart, Drive Smart Florida! program which stresses the importance of the Florida Move Over Law.
Over Labor Day week-end, FHP law enforcement officers arrested 136 impaired drivers issued more than 16,000 tickets for traffic violations. If just one of those tickets saved a life, the FHP troopers have done their job. As Col. Czernis said,
“We can attribute part of the dramatic reduction in fatalities investigated by the Patrol to our efforts to educate the public about Florida traffic laws and to enforce those laws.”