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Florida drivers, expect company from the Highway Patrol this week

Any Florida motorist who has had a few drinks and thinks that he or she might stand a reasonable chance of being undetected by Florida law enforcers while out on a state road or interstate this week is likely mistaken.

In fact, sadly mistaken.

For starters, there are those Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) troopers. All of them — including those customarily at desk jobs — will reportedly be spending at least some time out on state roads looking for drunk drivers through the Labor Day weekend ending next Monday.

And then there are the so-called “auxiliary troopers” working for the FHP, who are also volunteering their time to patrol Florida roadways.

Further yet, the number “347” is being disseminated. Those are the digits that any driver in the state can call when he or she suspects that another motorist is driving under the influence of alcohol.

In short, it’s not a good weekend to imbibe before driving, and that means even a couple of drinks.

To be sure, it is never a good idea to drink and drive, and state law enforcement agencies’ participation in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” DWI/DUI campaign conducted each year in August and through Labor Day underscores that fact.

Additionally, the Drive Sober effort has been credited as a tool that demonstrably promotes roadway safety.

At the same time, of course, the swarms of patrols that blanket the state presently are resulting in singularly high numbers of residents being stopped and arrested for drunk driving.

In some of those instances, stopped motorists have strong legal arguments that mitigate against criminal convictions or, arguably, support lesser charges. In all cases of DUI arrests, motorists have an unquestioned legal right to defend themselves and optimally promote their best interests.

The need to do so is never more apparent than during enforcement campaigns pursuant to which state motorists are heavily targeted by high numbers of police patrols.

Source: News 13, “ ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ runs through Labor Day,” author uncited, Aug. 17, 2014

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