Police Plan to Keep Roads Safe This Holiday Weekend

This year Christmas and New Year's Day both fall on Saturdays. Florida Highway Patrol Trooper LT John Bagnardi says drunk driving is a personal issue for him.

LT John Bagnardi of the Florida Highway Patrol says, "My best friend was a trooper down south with me. He was killed on the side of I-95 simply doing his job. A 21-year-old drunk driver hit his car and it burst into flames."

And another career low helped to further change Bagnardi's opinion on drunk drivers.

Bagnardi adds, "I had to do a death notification on Christmas Eve around 11 at night. The kids thought it was Santa Claus, and it's me telling them daddy's never coming home again."

That's why he, nor any other law enforcement agent, won't be letting anyone off the hook this year. Other local agencies will also be on the look out for the general safety of everyone on the roads this holiday season.

SGT Chris Chase of the Tallahassee Police Department says, "We see a larger volume of crashes and DUI over the holiday season, and with this holiday season falling on a weekend it could be even higher."

If you plan to drink this season, there are some safe options to make sure you get home.

Chris Chase adds, "Please take advantage of the programs out there, foremost pick a designated driver or AAA Tow and Go. These programs are easy, please use them."

Law enforcement officers say often they're asked "don't you have anything better to do than trying to arrest drunk drivers?"

They say the answer is no.

AAA’s number is 1-800-AAA-HELP, and Safe Ride is 850-580-8080.