The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that fatal crashes involving impaired drivers tend to increase during the holidays.
That’s why the Florida Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies plan to step up enforcement through New Year’s Day.
“Last year more than 1,100 people lost their lives in crashes where alcohol or drugs were involved or suspected, and thousands more were injured,” said Julie L. Jones, executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in a media release.
Just how prevalent are DUIs in Florida?
Here’s a look at the numbers according to the website Florida DMV:
- In 2011, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles recorded 33,625 DUI convictions statewide.
- A total of 55,722 DUI tickets were issued in Florida in 2011
- The Florida Highway Patrol issued 9,328 DUI tickets in 2011; local law enforcement agencies issued the rest
- There were 1,824 DUI convictions in Pinellas County alone in 2010
So what happens if a person is charged with a DUI in St. Pete? Here are the penalties for a first offense:
- $250 to $500 fine
- Community Service - 50 Hours
- Probation - up to 1 year
- Imprisonment - up to 6 months
- Imprisonment with blood alcohol level of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, up to 9 months
- License Revocation - Minimum of 180 days
- DUI School - 12 Hours