Florence Police kick off annual campaign against drunk driving - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Florence Police kick off annual campaign against drunk driving

Florence PD had a casket and hearse on hand to help remind drivers of the dangers. (Source: WAFF) Florence PD had a casket and hearse on hand to help remind drivers of the dangers. (Source: WAFF)
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

Cracking down on drunk driving. That's the goal for law enforcement agencies as they kickoff their annual "drive sober or get pulled over” campaign.

They picked a rather unique location to launch the campaign. They did it in a Shoals cemetery, hoping the setting would drive the message home about the dangers of drinking and driving.

"This is ultimately where you end up if you do the wrong thing by drinking and driving,” said Chris Ticer with the Florence Police Department. “If you kill yourself or somebody else this is the final resting spot"

With a casket and hearse on hand, law enforcement officials hoped these visuals from inside a cemetery would help remind drivers of the dangers of drinking and driving.

"They don't realize how much they can affect their life, much less someone else's life, and change their lives forever," said Ticer.

This issues aren't new. Florence Police Moto Officer Chris Ticer and fellow officers have been battling drunk drivers for years.

"We have seen this as long as I've been in law enforcement,” said Ticer. “I've seen lives absolutely ruined to where they have nothing in life because of making a bad decision."

During the 2013 campaign, state officials said there were a total of 308 alcohol related crashes, causing 154 injuries and 8 fatalities. Law enforcement officers are pleading with drivers to be responsible as we start to celebrate the unofficial end of summer.

"If they know they're going to be out drinking, have a backup plan,” said Ticer. “You know, have a friend they can call, have a taxi, just be responsible, just do the right thing."

State leaders said they have used grant money to help officers while on patrol and are hoping to make officers' jobs a little easier. They've purchased more than 100 portable breathalyzer devices to give to departments across the state allowing them to have more than one device to use on patrol. The funding came from grants geared toward alcohol enforcement. State leaders have also made funding available for over-time hours accured by officers patrolling the streets for impaired drivers over the following few weeks.

"The more tools you can give the officer to do his job, the better he or she can do," said Eddie Russell, project director of NAHSO. "Our ultimate goal here is to remove the impaired driver from our highways."

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

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