Florida law enforcement officials say the number of drunk driving deaths in the state is on the rise, and they say now just before a holiday weekend is the perfect time for them to crack down.
Their campaign starts this week and their mobilization is part of the "Drink and Drive... You Lose" program. They say the goal is to save lives on Florida highways.
Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell says, "We're the ones who have to work these wrecks where people are badly mangled. We're the ones who have to go and tell families their loved ones are dead."
FHP officials say the number of drunk driving crashes per year is about 10 percent higher in Florida than in other states, hence the urgency of their annual "You Drink and Drive...You Lose” campaign.
Megan Fossen is a Florida State student and has several friends that have been injured and even killed by drunk drivers. As a waitress, she takes part in the battle.
Megan says, "If I feel they've had too much, I either won't serve them or I call them a cab to make sure they get home all right."
Law enforcement officials say they won't let a drunk driver off so easy.
COL Christopher Knight with the Florida Highway Patrol says, "Incarceration is probably the most deterrent, heavy fines, suspension of drivers license. The stigma of being a convicted drunk driver stays with you the rest of your life."
Starting Friday, random DUI checkpoints will be set up all over the area, but law enforcement officials say the only people who can truly get the offenders off the roads are the offenders themselves.
The "Drink and Drive…You Lose" campaign lasts until September 12.
Law enforcement officials do not feel drunk driving related crashes are higher in Tallahassee because it's a college town. They say they just see it as a statewide problem, although they do look to area bars and clubs to help them out with keeping drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.
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