The Florida Highway Patrol wants you to enjoy yourself this holiday season, but warn drivers they won’t be handing out gifts to anyone who gets behind the wheel after drinking.

Florida has one of the toughest policies in the nation when it comes to dealing with anyone who drinks and drives. You could say they have zero tolerance for drunk drivers, but then again, so does every police officer in the nation. And so does anyone who is defensive driving.

In fact, this year there is a nationwide effort to keep drunk drivers off the street called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

According to a recent study of traffic statistics by the Florida Department of Highway Safety from 2010, more than 35 percent of the traffic deaths which occurred on Florida highways during the holidays last year were alcohol-related. This has prompted a major crackdown on drunk driving in the Sunshine state.

Everyone wants to enjoy the Christmas and New Year holiday festivities, but not everyone is going to be able to drive home when they are done having fun. You don’t even need to be drunk to get in trouble with the law or drive in an unsafe manner. Florida law says that a blood alcohol content of .08 percent is enough for you to be cited. That’s just three drinks for someone weighing 140 pounds or less. Three beers, three glasses of wine, three shots–it’s all the same when it comes to your BAC. And don’t bother trying to hide it with a breath mint, a couple pieces of chewing gum or even a penny. That’s not going to work when it comes to a breathalyzer test.

Anyone who has successfully completed a defensive driving course understands just how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel drunk, or even slightly inebriated. Distracted driving is dangerous and you’re definitely distracted if you’ve had a few drinks before trying to drive home.

It’s a simple thing to have a happy holiday and get home safe. It starts by not drinking and driving.

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