A DUI sobriety checkpoint is scheduled for this weekend, beginning Friday, Nov. 9. The operation will take place at an undisclosed location in Lee County as the Sheriff's Office continues its commitment to getting impaired drivers off our roadways and in support of education efforts such as the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.
Checkpoint emphasis is placed on the following: remove impaired drivers from the roadway, reduce the likelihood impaired drivers will operate their vehicles on our roadways, heighten awareness and educate the public on the dangers of drunk driving.
Motorists are reminded it is a crime to mix alcohol, drugs and driving. Citizens are encouraged to avoid the risk of driving if they consume alcoholic beverages. While it may take several drinks for someone to become legally impaired, impairment begins with the first drink. Drunk driving is NOT a victimless crime. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2010, there were 521 alcohol related crashes in Lee County resulting in 20 fatalities and 368 injuries.
If you plan to go to a bar, a restaurant, party or event where alcohol will be served, select a designated driver ahead of time. Remember, a designated driver is not the least impaired driver. Also, "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk." If you know someone who is about to operate a motor vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Daily enforcement, sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols by deputies with the Sheriff's Office are a part of a concerted effort to curb traffic fatalities, injuries and crashes in Lee County. Motorists can help in many ways, too. Promptly report drunk drivers you see to law enforcement. In Lee County we urge you to dial 9-1-1.
Finally, your best defense against an impaired driver is to be sure to wear your safety belt driving or riding in a car, truck or van. When on a motorcycle, wear a helmet and protective gear. Let's all do our best to make this a safe year on our streets, roads and highways!
Media inquiries are directed to the Public Information Officer prior to the operation at (239) 477-1340. Sergeant Dennis Petracca is the contact at the checkpoint.