Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

Florida News

Holiday Celebration: See a Drunk - Dial *FHP

TALAHASSEE, FL – Nationwide, as many as 800 people die in car crashes involving a drunk driver every December. It's why this month is one of the most dangerous times on the nation's roads and why organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving are working hard to make sure people take precautions so they don't hurt themselves or someone else. Jan Withers is the national president of MADD.

"We know too much now. We all know about designated drivers," Withers says. "We all know the dangers, but the key is not to decide after you've had some alcohol in your system. We really need to make a sober decision before we ever start drinking how we're going to get home safely."

Alisa Joy Withers

In Florida, 697 people died in 2012 in drunk-driving accidents, costing Floridians $3.6 million in taxpayer subsidies. Withers says in addition to planning for your own safe ride home, it's important to evaluate the alcohol intake of your friends before letting them leave a holiday party and getting behind the wheel. 

Withers knows first-hand the devastation drunk driving can cause, having lost her daughter Alisa to a drunk driver 23 years ago.

"Some days it seems like yesterday because the pain is so intense," says Withers. "Sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago but the hole in my heart never goes away."

This month, local police departments and the state highway patrol are planning additional patrols for drunk drivers. If you witness a suspected drunk driver, you can call star-F-H-P from your cell phone. Drunk drivers caught while driving impaired face an automatic suspension of their driving privileges for 30 days while they await trial and the possibility of losing their licenses for at least a year after their first conviction.

Photos/graphics, links added by the Observer | Photo: courtesy of MADD

This piece was reprinted by the Columbia County Observer with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Comments  (to add a comment go here)


Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.