The Orange Park Police Department announced its participation in the national campaign Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, starting this weekend throughout the holiday season.
This message came less than a week after a JSO employee was killed and another put in the hospital by a suspect drunken driver on Sunday.
More than 250 crashes in Clay County last year involved a drunk driver, according to the FLHSMV. Ahead at 6, I’ll show you how @OPPoliceDept is working to prevent more in the future. @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews— Elizabeth Pace (@PaceAnJax) December 12, 2018
“We just want a heightened awareness to let people know that this time of year, it’s easy to go to a party and have a couple of drinks, jump in your car, and think you’re OK to drive home,” Police Chief Gary Goble said.
Is your freedom worth $20? Is your life (or the life of others) worth $20? Call a taxi, @Uber, or @Lyft. If you drive impaired in Orange Park, we will arrest you and take you to jail. It's not worth the risk. #DriveSoberOrGetPulledOver— Orange Park Police (@OPPoliceDept) December 11, 2018
Goble said their officers are trained in DUI detection. While officers continue their regular patrol, they will be particularly searching for warning signs of a drunk driver.
“It could be not maintaining a lane, driving 10 miles under the speed limit, driving 10 miles over the speed limit,” Goble said. “There’s a lot of things that people tend to do that they don’t realize they’re doing.”
On the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s website, Action News Jax found 256 crashes in Clay County involved a drunken driver in 2017. This number is less than Duval and St. Johns counties, however, Goble said it remain a top priority for their department.
“The numbers aren’t great through the town but I think the numbers across the nation are pretty high, higher than they need to be with all the different ways people can actually get to the house,” Goble said.
A Driving Under the Influence charge could cost between $500 and $1,000 dollar or possible jail time.