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"Drive Sober in Destin" campaign begins
DESTIN -- More than once an hour, someone in the US is killed by a drunk driver.
Protecting people on the road gets tougher when the gulf coast is filled with summer visitors.
Deputies in Destin are beefing up enforcement, with a 50,000 dollar grant.
Laura Hussey "The year-round population of Destin is about 12,000 people. But when hotels and condos fill with visitors, the number swells to about 50,000, and lots of them are in the mood to party"
More people on the beach is a formula for summer success.
More people on the road can be a recipe for trouble.
Prebble Ramswell/Destin "You've got people, whether it's Spring Break or summer, constantly walking, driving, leaving the restaurants, leaving the bars. Not only do they not know where they're going, they have more than likely been in there drinking"
After a crash caused by a drunk driver, Ted Saia says his elderly parents were never the same.
Ted Saia/Tourist "He basically hit them head-on, and she sustained eighty stitches on her head from a piece of plastic in the car, and my dad had his neck got snapped"
In a matter of days, the Okaloosa Sheriff's Office will have more deputies in Destin, trying to prevent wrecks like that.
The extra manpower will be funded by a 50,000 dollar grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.
The push called "Drive Sober in Destin" will use targeted patrols, checkpoints, and bigger shows of force called saturation patrols.
Ted "Getting drunk drivers off the road, I'm all for that"
They'll also be watching for speeders, aggressive drivers, and people breaking open container laws.
Prebble "We already have a problem with accidents and traffic congestion here and anything we can do to help alleviate any of that and make the roads safer is absolutely of the utmost priority"
Laura Hussey "Drive Sober Destin runs through September."