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Holiday Season 217

The Sheriff’s Office has been inundated with complaints from residents about speeders in residential areas, and areas where children gather such as school zones, parks and playgrounds. Motorists are reminded that if there is not a speed limit in a residential area, the speed limit is 30 mph. Driving safely is important all year long but especially during the holidays when children are out of school. Whether or not you have children, you must learn how to drive when they’re around in order to avoid potential injuries and fatalities. Driving safely around children means keeping in mind their unpredictable nature, which translates to you slowing down and paying more attention to the road. Also pay special attention to pets that may make their way toward the roadway. Many people are harmed or killed every year by people who are speeding or not paying attention when they drive through residential communities carelessly. Drive safely in a residential area by staying alert to your surroundings, obeying the speed limit and not getting distracted while you drive.

Traffic enforcement has saturated the county which has resulted in the following statistics. From October 15, 2017 through November 20, 2017, there were 860 vehicles pulled over. There were 419 warnings given for minor traffic violations, 417 citation written for speeding, faulty equipment and running stop signs; 23 individuals were arrested and one arrested for multiple infractions.

During the upcoming holiday season, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office will conduct concentrated patrols looking for not only speeding motorists but those who may be driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Here are a few things to think about not only during the holidays, but at all times.

What Every Host Needs to Know

Social responsibility…this phrase encompasses everything from planning the party menu to assessing how guests will get home safely once the part is over. Your role as a responsible party host can keep your friends and loved ones safe.

*Don’t rely on coffee to sober up your guests. Only time can make someone sober.

*Beer and wine are just as intoxicating as hard liquor. A 12-ounce can of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce wine cooler and an ounce and a half of liquor contact the same amount of alcohol

*Don’t rely on someone’s physical appearance to determine if he or she has had too much to drink

*Mixers won’t help dilute alcohol. Carbonated mixers like club soda or tonic water cause alcohol to be absorbed into a person’s system more quickly. Fruit juice and other sweet mixers mask the taste of alcohol and may cause people to drink more

Obey the speed limit!

Please don’t drink and drive!

And most of all be safe and enjoy the Holiday Season.

Michele Bell, PIO

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