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Law enforcement to step up patrols over Halloween weekend

By Staff | Oct 28, 2010

Local law enforcement are stepping up patrols and cracking down on impaired drivers for the upcoming holiday weekend.
Halloween is one of the deadliest night of the year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities nationwide on Halloween night involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 of higher, which is illegal.
That total is up from 44 percent in 2007.
The Fort Myers Police Department is reminding residents to keep the party off of the road. FMPD is participating in a national campaign to stop drunk driving, and it will have increased DUI enforcement throughout the weekend.
“Beginning this weekend and through Halloween, FMPD will step-up DUI enforcement to include roving patrols and a DUI checkpoint targeting drunk drivers,” Shelly Flynn, spokeswoman for the Fort Myers department, said.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office also will be present in the community.
“Anytime there’s a holiday or event where there’s drinking, especially with all the kids on the road, I know it’s something that we will be more active with,” John Sheehan, a spokesman for the LCSO, said.
Though no DUI checkpoint was planned as of Wednesday, Sheehan said the public could expect saturation patrols and an increased enforcement on the roads, he said. Last year, the LCSO’s Sexual Offender and Predator Unit also checked on registered locals to make sure they were adhering to the rules.
The Florida Highway Patrol is participating in the national campaign “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest,” which extends through Sunday. FHP is cracking down on impaired drivers through the aggressive campaign, which kicked off Monday.
“There isn’t a Halloween costume clever enough to hide an impaired driver who has made the poor decision to get behind the wheel,” FHP Director Col. John Czernis said. “Whether you’ve had one too many or way too many, it is just not worth the risk. Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Our troopers will be vigilant in their efforts to remove impaired drivers from our roadways.”
FHP officials also are reminding people that Florida’s primary safety belt law authorizes law enforcement officers to stop and cite motorists solely for failing to buckle up.
Officials from the Cape Coral police were unavailable for comment.