The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), along with its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), are reminding drivers to stay safe on the roads during the busiest long-distance travel period of the year.
In December 2021, there were a total of 35,859 crashes on Florida roadways that took the lives of 325 people and injured 1,524 others. In nearly 30% of those crashes, at least one of the drivers involved was operating a motor vehicle in a careless or negligent manner, according to FLHSMV.
“Tragic crashes are unfortunately all too common, and often caused by someone who chose to not follow the law. We see the heartbreak these crashes cause to families, friends, and communities,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes.
Rhodes added, “Seldom do we hear of the many crashes that are prevented by motorists who are courteous, sober, and focused on the road and their surroundings. These are the drivers that keep us safe and the type of driver all motorists should aspire to be this holiday season and into the new year.”
According to FLHSMV, there were 917 alcohol-confirmed crashes, 96 drug confirmed crashes, and 86 drug and alcohol confirmed crashes in December 2021. In total, there were 1,099 crashes involving alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both in Florida.
Under Florida law, driving under the influence (DUI) is an offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties by any substance or an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. FLHSMV encourages anyone who sees an impaired driver on the road to contact local law enforcement or dial *FHP (*347). This call could save a life.
“Please remember to drink responsibly and make good decisions this holiday season,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Not only your life but the lives of others are in jeopardy if you decide to drink or use drugs and drive.”
Spaulding added that FHP troopers will be aggressively enforcing impaired driving laws to ensure the safety of everyone traveling on Florida’s roadways. FHP will be out in force on the highways to aid motorists and remove dangerous drivers from the road.
Additionally, FHP Auxiliary Troopers will volunteer to augment FHP during the holiday period. FHP’s increased presence throughout Florida aims to deter traffic violations while enhancing services to motorists who are in need of assistance.
For more information, including helpful safety tips, visit the FLHSMV Safe Holiday Travel webpage.