DAVIE, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol is increasing trooper presence to get drunken drivers off the highways and toll roads on New Year’s Eve.
As part of a holiday anti-drunk driving campaign, FHP has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to bring awareness to the dangers of driving under the influence on any occasion.
MAAD Vice Chair Heather Geronemus’ father was a kidney specialist and crossing Brickell Avenue 11 years ago when he was hit by a drunk driver.
"A person who blew a red light, made a left turn at a high rate of speed,” Geronemus said. “(The driver) struck my father and threw him 75 feet into the middle of the road.”
Geronemus’ father died from injuries after he was hit. The driver of the vehicle went to jail. Geronemus was present with FHP troopers Monday as she and troopers addressed the public.
“Don’t believe it could never happen to you: getting arrested, getting into a traffic crash, seriously hurting or killing another person,” FHP Maj. Robert Chandler said. “State troopers do not give breaks to drunk drivers.”
Planning ahead or understanding the alternatives to driving drunk can save money and lives. Troopers are urging people to opt for contacting rideshare providers, call a taxi or call a sober friend.
“If you’re out with family members or friends, do something," Chandler said. "Take their keys. Arrange for a ride.”
The FHP noted that there were no deaths last New Year’s Eve because of drunk driving, a trend they’d like to continue.
“It’s 100% preventable and we can all do something about it,” Geronemus said.