Roads are already crowded as folks hit the highway for the holiday weekend. Here in town, Leon County deputies are stepping up patrols. Tallahassee police are setting up roadblocks and a grieving mother is making a plea, "Don't drink and drive."
The crosses on Silverlake Road mark the spot where 17-year-old Danny Kinsey died eight years ago. He was the passenger in a truck driven by a drunken friend.
"He hit the culvert, some say he flipped end over end. The driver was not wearing his seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle. Danny was in the process of being thrown, when the cab of the truck came down on Danny's head and broke his neck," says Dottie Kinsey.
Even now this winding stretch of road in western Leon County is rife with skid marks and discarded beer cans. Deputies know it well.
"Kids come out to the woods and think they can get away with drinking and driving, they're away from populated areas and think that police aren't watching. That's not the case," says Tony Drzewiecki.
A drunk driving road block will be set up this weekend just down the road from these mementos, and as Dottie Kinsey misses the son who loved to hunt and fish, she has this to say to others who dare to drink and drive this weekend or any other.
"They need to slow down and think about their actions. They're not always invincible like they think they are. You know things do happen. Tragedies do happen," Dottie says.
A roadblock will be set up on Silverlake Road this weekend, one of many set up to catch drunk drivers in and around Tallahassee.
Drunk Driving Statistics
- Traffic fatalities in alcohol-related crashes rose by four percent from 1999 to
- The 16,653 alcohol-related fatalities in 2000 (40 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year) represent a 25 percent reduction from the 22,084 alcohol-related fatalities reported in 1990 (50 percent of the total).
- NHTSA estimates that alcohol was involved in 40 percent of fatal crashes and in eight percent of all crashes in 2000.
- The 16,653 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during 2000 represent an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 32 minutes.
- An estimated 310,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured approximately every two minutes.
- Approximately 1.5 million drivers were arrested in 1999 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
- This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 121 licensed drivers in the United States.
- About 3 in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.
- In 2000, 31 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred in crashes in which at least one driver or nonoccupant had a BAC of 0.10 g/dl or greater. Sixty-nine percent of the 12,892 people killed in such crashes were themselves intoxicated. The remaining 31 percent were passengers, nonintoxicated drivers, or nonintoxicated nonoccupants.
- In the state of Kentucky, there were 820 total fatalities in 2000. Of those, 203 had a BAC greater than or equal to 0.10, which accounted for 25 percent of the total fatalities.
Source: www.nhtsa.dot.gov (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site) contributed to this report.