MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Holiday parties can be a lot of fun, but police are asking that you skip the ‘holiday cheer’ before you get behind the wheel.
On Tuesday, Miami Police, Miami-Dade Police and the Florida Highway Patrol kicked off their annual “Operation Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign which will run through January 2nd, 2012.
“Drinking alcohol and driving do not mix,” said Miami police chief Manuel Orosa. “If you plan to consume alcohol, you should also plan not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle or ride a motorcycle.”
In 2009 alone, nearly 10,839 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit, according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol impaired drivers in fatal crashes is young people age 21-24.
During the enforcement period, police and FHP troopers will show zero tolerance for impaired drivers and ticket those who are not wearing their seat belt.
Across the country, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
Those caught driving under the influence could face jail time, loss of their driver licenses or be sentenced to use ignition interlocks. In addition to the legal ramifications, DUI drivers face increased insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work and the potential loss of their job.