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Siesta Key Wednesday, Mar. 5, 2014 7 years ago

Sheriff releases February DUI numbers

by: Nolan Peterson News Editor

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office February DUI saturation patrols netted half the arrests as in January.

In February, saturation patrols resulted in eight DUI arrests and 118 citations for other traffic offenses, compared with the 18 DUI arrests and 349 citations for other traffic offenses the special patrols produced in January. These numbers do not include DUI arrests made during the month outside these specific initiatives.

Last year, however, Sarasota County saw an overall reduction in DUI arrests. According to Sheriff’s Office data, Sarasota County reported 1,007 DUI arrests in 2013, compared with 1,258 in 2012 — a 20% drop.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 10,000 people die nationally each year due to drunk driving.

The Sheriff’s Office credits its saturation patrols with bringing down the DUI rate countywide.

DUI saturation patrols are run in addition to deputies’ normal patrol beats and are an alternative to traditional DUI checkpoints. The patrols geographically concentrate a cadre of deputies on the lookout for impaired drivers. The agency announces ahead of time the dates of the saturation patrols, but not the locations.

Saturation patrols will be conducted March 8, March 17, March 22 and March 29. Patrols were also conducted March 1. This initiative is conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and supported through a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

Contact Nolan Peterson at [email protected]

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