With the holiday season behind us, many Florida residents may still be feeling the hangover from the highway patrol’s recent DUI crackdown as part of the nationwide Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over campaign that took place from Dec. 12-Jan. 2. Florida, along with many other states, increased the number of highway patrol officers on duty during the holiday season in order to catch more individuals getting behind the wheel after a few too many cocktails at a holiday party. To do this, many Florida Highway Patrol officers postponed their administrative duties in order to patrol the roads. The state also enlisted reservist and auxiliary troopers.
So just how successful was the three week campaign? Here’s a snapshot:
– 39,202 traffic citations issued
– 13,660 drivers cited for speeding
– 2,570 citations for failing to wear a seatbelt
– 548 driving under the influence arrests
The Patch quotes Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, Col. David Brieton on the campaign: “Our troopers were out on the roadways to help Florida residents and visitors have a safe and enjoyable holiday period. Every year the members of the patrol do their part to identify unsafe drivers and remove them from the roadways, as well as take the appropriate steps to deter unsafe driving behaviors.”
The campaign may be over but that does not mean that Florida Highway Patrol officers aren’t still out there looking for anyone breaking the law. For many of the drivers that were pulled over, it was their first encounter with law enforcement. Whether being pulled over for a relatively minor infraction or a major offense, here are some tips on how to handle your initial police encounter:
– Pull over to a safe location: Bright lights in your rear view mirror are an incredibly intimidating sight to see. Whether you are on the freeway or a residential street, pull over as soon as you know you are being signaled to do so but also make sure you pull over in a safe location. Once you have stopped, stop your engine and wait for the police officer to approach your car
– Follow directions: The police officer will tell you exactly what he or she wants from you. Do not go to your glove compartment to grab your license or registration before you are asked to do so—the police may see you moving around and think you are looking for a weapon.
– Stay calm: The police may not be nice and they are looking to give you a ticket so remember to stay calm even if the officer is taking an aggressive tone with you. If you are being pulled over for a DUI or the police are searching your car, now is not the time to get angry or defensive.
We hope that none of you were victims of the holiday crackdown. If you were, give the law firm of Finebloom & Haenel P.A. a call to discuss your case.