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December crackdown on impaired driving seeks to reduce risk of car accidents in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is announcing a statewide enforcement effort aimed at drunk and drugged drivers through the New Year.

Our St. Lucie car accident lawyers frequently report on the dangers drunk drivers pose to motorists on the road. Last year, more than 1,000 people were killed in accidents involving alcohol, accounting for more than 40 percent of the traffic deaths in Florida.

Car accidents in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami account for more serious and fatal traffic accidents than anywhere else in Florida.

The Christmas and New Year’s holiday bring an increased threat of impaired driving crashes. Accordingly, the state has proclaimed December as “National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.”

“The holiday season is a time to celebrate, and no one should have to suffer the loss of a loved one at the hands of a drunk or drugged driver,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp. “I am pleased to see our law enforcement agencies and safety advocates taking proactive measures to make the roadways safer for residents and for those visiting the Sunshine State during the holidays.”

For those for whom being involved in a serious or fatal accident is too abstract a concept — or, worse yet, that it won’t happen to them — the state has a pragmatic reminder that the cost of a DUI conviction frequently exceeds $10,000, including the cost of fines, court fees, attorney fees, increased insurance premiums and time spent in jail or on probation.

Authorities are also warning motorists about the consequences of driving while under the influence of drugs, whether illegal narcotics or prescribed medication.

“As traffic crashes and fatalities steadily drop each year, it is disconcerting to see drug-related injuries and crashes rise, which is exactly what happened between 2008 and 2009,” said Florida Highway Patrol Director, Colonel John Czernis. “The Florida Highway Patrol will participate in the nationwide, Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. national crackdown this month to enforce Florida’s tough DUI law. In addition, the Department will propose legislative changes this Spring that further strengthen the law as it pertains to drugged driving.”

The Patrol offers the following safe driving tips to prevent drunk or drugged driving in Florida:

-Plan ahead and designate a sober driver.

-Don’t let friends drive drunk.

-Be a responsible host.

-Beware of medications and their impact on driving ability.

-Dial *FHP (*347) to report impaired drivers.

Freeman & Mallard is a South Florida personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping motorists who have been injured in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.

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