PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — After the good times that come with bringing in the new year, comes the drive home.
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is hoping those celebrating will think twice before driving drunk.
Trooper John Mestek reminds those celebrating the New Year to drive safely.
“Drunk driving doesn’t just effect the intoxicated person. It affects everyone around them,” said Mestek. “It affects their family. If affects the people their involved in a crash with and I just don’t like seeing that. It’s not a fun thing to see.”
The Florida Highway Patrol said they’ll increase patrols this weekend. The FHP plans to suspend office operations during the New Year’s holiday to allow more staff the ability to work the road.
Mestek said they’ll be looking for impaired drivers.
“I’m looking for their driving patterns, whether they’re able to maintain their lane. Speeding. Excessive speed or the exact opposite — going too slow,” Mestek said.
“I’m looking for people who are trying to avoid me, and then once I approach the vehicle, I’m looking at their eyes — looking for bloodshot, glassy, watery eyes. I’m looking for the smell of alcohol.”
FHP Troop A made seven DUI arrests between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day last year. The FHP sayid drinking and driving and then failing a sobriety test will start your new year off with a ride straight to jail.
“Just don’t,” Mestek said. “There’s so many options these days with Uber and Lyft. Taxi services. It’s not worth it.”