With the spike in drunk driving usually expected on holiday weekends, the Pinecrest police department has a message for all Labor Day revelers: if you drink and drive, we will arrest you.
For the third year in a row, the department is joining the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which pledges participating police forces to strictly enforce DUI laws from this Friday through Sept. 1.
“In the village of Pinecrest, we’re very zero-tolerance throughout the year,” said Pinecrest police Officer Edison Cruz.
That’s why the department also will take some additional measures to increase awareness and high-visibility enforcement, Cruz said.
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The department will run “saturation patrols” and post all of its officers specially trained in DUI-detection on weekend nights – statistically, the most dangerous – along Pinecrest’s major roadways like U.S. 1, Old Cutler and the Palmetto Expressway.
Pinecrest police made 86 DUI arrests in 2013, and have made more than 50 so far this year. The department recorded eight alcohol-related accidents last year, and eight so far this year.
In 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, there were 1,523 alcohol-related accidents in Miami-Dade county. Forty-one people died. Across the state, there were 877 fatalities in 2012. Nationwide, that number jumps to 10,322.
“I always use this for comparison – I’m a Gulf War veteran – DUIs are like Scud missiles launched into the night with no target in mind,” said Cruz. And usually that target is some innocent soul.”