To many college students, Thursday night means the weekend is here; time to break out the booze.
"Thursday is a big night. It's the start of the weekend, so everybody will be going out," says 21-year-old Robert Lastra.
Going out and drinking is often coupled with driving home drunk. Lastra sees it all the time. In fact, not too long ago he himself got a DUI.
"I got pulled over for speeding and then got tested and taken in right away. I could have killed somebody. Somebody could be dead right now,” explains Lastra.
Leon County sheriff's deputies are holding checkpoints around town, cracking down on drunk drivers and trying to prevent unnecessary deaths.
"When you see somebody that just died in a crash or any type of incident, it’s terrible. It just makes it so much worse when it was so avoidable. If it’s a situation where someone had too much to drink, decided to drive and got behind the wheel and it cost somebody their life, that's foolishness. It is needless," says Leon County Deputy Sheriff Andrew Dawson.
Assistant State Attorney Shirley Bates is a prosecutor for DUI offenders. She says the worst cases are the ones that end in fatalities.
"They just think that it’s an inconvenience to have to have somebody drive them, but they don't realize what an inconvenience it’s gonna be when they can't drive themselves because they don't have a license or they're in jail or prison because they've killed somebody,” Bates says.
Deputies say catching drunk drivers like Lastra gets their message across that drinking and driving is never okay.
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