JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The National Safety Council is estimating at least 515 people across the U.S. will die on the roads over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
It’s why the Florida Highway Patrol will be out in full force, cracking down on drunk drivers. Troopers will be conducting their DUI wolfpack operation.
“With all this advanced warning, for all these people, Ubers and taxi services that are out there, we’re still getting drunk driving issues on the roadway,” said trooper Dalton Bishop. “It’s an issue that can be prevented.”
Bishop says every year, it never gets easy, especially when he and fellow troopers have to notify families that their loved one died in a crash.
“It’s rough and emotional, especially right now with Thanksgiving tomorrow and Christmas around the corner,” Bishop said.
Bishop says a car weaving back and forth across the roadway is an obvious sign the driver may be impaired. But he also says odd braking is another sign that can’t go overlooked.
“Say we’re traveling 72 MPH right now. And this car in front of us is just braking. There is no one in front of it and it keeps braking. They’re struggling to stay in this lane. Those are things you want to look for,” Bishop said. “Headlights. Blinkers. A lot of people forget to put their headlights on.”
He said other signs of impairment include the sudden increasing of speed followed by a rapid decrease for no reason. Bishop said other drivers who see such warning signs should give 911 a call and report it.
“If you see anything that you think is an indicator of drunk driving, just let us know so we have it documented, especially if it causes someone to have serious bodily injuries,” Bishop said.
News4JAX did a ride-along with Bishop on Wednesday night, and no drivers were spotted showing signs of impairment. However, we did spot a woman who was changing lanes without using her turn signal.
Bishop spoke with the driver, ran her license and everything came back clean. Bishop issued her a warning and reminded her about being safe on the road.