Leon County DUI Strike Force

A strike force has been formed, armed and ready to round up drunk drivers in Leon County. Five area agencies are on a mission this holiday season to stop drunk drivers in their tracks.

With a picture of her teenage boy in hand, Dotti Kinsey and several other mothers are sharing their story with hopes of saving lives.

“My son Danny was killed by a drunk driver June 9th, 1995,” said Dotti.

“This is my daughter Anna Pomroy. She was killed on Tram road in 1980. That's a long time ago, but the reason I'm here: it never goes away,” added Lolly Wier.

A similar emotion felt by families across Florida who have lost loved one's in alcohol related accidents. This year alone, Leon County has had 11 fatal accidents; seven of those were alcohol related.

A startling statistic Tallahassee's police chief is taking seriously.

“The message from TPD and the task force is simple- you drink and drive officers will have a ride for you straight to jail,” says Chief Walk McNeil.

Together officers from five area agencies and these mothers are standing side-by-side, creating a large patrol to saturate the streets, during the holidays and throughout the year.

The strike force says it will increase DUI checkpoints and increase its staff. In fact, the Leon County Sheriff's Office says it will hire two new deputies with recent grant money to focus on drunk drivers.

Altogether, there are five agencies involved: TPD, FSU and FAMU police, Leon County Sheriff's Office, and Florida Highway Patrol.

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Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

  • Legal drinking age in the United States is 21.

  • Forty-six states have "Zero Tolerance Laws" for underage drinking and driving, meaning that drivers under 21 years of age are considered to be legally intoxicated with a much lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that drivers who are 21 or older.

  • BAC varies from 0.00 to 0.02 depending on the state.

  • Illinois has a BAC of 0.00 for drivers under 21, which can be broken from as little as one drink.

  • For drivers 21 and over, the BAC is 0.08.

  • If charged with a DUI, the offender can have his or her license suspended for 90 days to one year, and pay fines of up to $1,000.

  • Fines and jail time can increase significantly if you injure someone or cause major damage.

  • Second and subsequent offenses may be dramatically more severe.

  • Affect on Insurance: If your license is suspended, your insurance company (preferred carrier) will drop you and your entire family.

  • If you get your license back, you will pay 40-60 percent higher rates.

  • In Illinois, a DUI stays on your record for 5-7 years.

Source: www.whatsdrivingyou.org contributed to this report