Florida Highway Patrol urges Safety during Spring Break

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Don't drink and drive: Photo Credit: Konrad BaranskiState law enforcement agencies and associations  joined forces to encourage spring breakers to have a safe celebration in Florida. The state’s beautiful beaches and numerous tourist attractions lure thousands of spring breakers every year, but bad decisions about drugs and alcohol can ruin the party and change lives forever. Law enforcement agencies will be out enforcing the state’s drinking age laws and working to keep impaired drivers off the roads.

Read: Results from the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign

The Florida Highway Patrol cautions visitors and residents to think twice before driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving impaired not only puts everyone on the roadways in danger, but drivers should also know that Florida’s tough DUI laws have stiff penalties that can leave offenders with an empty wallet.
 
“Throughout the spring break period, we will continue our enhanced enforcement efforts with special emphasis on impaired drivers, said FHP Director Col. David Brierton. œFlorida troopers do not tolerate impaired driving, so drive sober and drive safely. 
 
Knowing the following information and tips can help you and everyone with whom you celebrate enjoy your spring break safely:

¢ The legal drinking age in Florida is 21. Anyone under the age of 21 in possession of alcohol can be cited for a second-degree misdemeanor, which can lead to costly court fees, fines and other lasting consequences.
¢ Selling alcohol to anyone under 21 or buying alcohol for anyone under 21 is also a misdemeanor.
¢ Possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a vehicle (in motion or stopped) by the driver and or the passenger(s) is a violation of Florida law.
¢ Plan ahead. Always designate a sober driver before any drinking begins, or take a taxi or public transportation if you plan to drink alcohol. A taxi or bus ride is much cheaper than a DUI citation.
¢ Take the keys. Do not let an impaired friend drive.
¢ Mind your meds. Heed the warning labels on prescription medicine bottles because even legal drugs can affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
¢ Dial *FHP (*347) on your cell phone to report an impaired driver.

Drivers under the age of 21 should keep in mind the serious consequences if they are caught with a Blood Alcohol Content level of .02 or higher.  The first offense means a suspended license for 6 months and a 2nd offense results in a one-year suspension.  Refusing a DUI test also can result in a 12-month to 18-month license suspension.

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