Although traffic accidents have slightly decreased nationwide, DUI crashes in Sarasota have actually increased. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 2012 Annual Traffic Crash Report, drunk driving accidents jumped nine percent in Sarasota. The 2011 statistics revealed the following numbers:
- 342 DUI crashes
- 19 people killed in these wrecks
- 146 people injured in these crashes
Because drunk drivers present a serious danger to motorists, the Sarasota Sheriff Deputies teamed up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) to support its “Tie One On For Safety” campaign. In early December, officers placed red ribbon magnets on their vehicles as a reminder to all drivers not to drink and drive. These red ribbon magnets were left up over the holiday season to remind drivers to always designate a driver if they consumed alcohol.
This message was especially timely during the holiday season, as the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve tends to involve festive parties and drinking. In fact, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration indicated that in 2011, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, 931 people were killed in DUI crashes across this nation.
When people get behind the wheel drunk, their lives and the lives of innocent people can forever be changed. Sadly, serious injuries and fatalities are often the result of drunk driving crashes. If every driver assigned a non-drinking designated driver, then everyone would be able to get home from holiday gatherings safely. Sadly, this is not the case, which is why so many innocent people needlessly die during this time of the year.