Arrests and Tourism Numbers Up During Memorial Day Weekend

Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. - In Walton County, many tourists and locals had the best of times, while others had the worst of times...for not following the law.

"We get a lot of tourists, so, at the same time that there is a big influx of people, we want to make sure people are being safe. That's why you saw the aggressive Driving Campaign and Click It or Ticket during the holiday weekend because people are traveling in or out and most of it is by car," said Corey Dobridnia, Public Information Officer.

"Going from the looks of the beach and the visitors we saw and interacted with, I would not be surprised if we were up this Memorial Day weekend over the last one," said David Demarest, Visit South Walton.

While Tourist Development Council officials were pleased with record crowds, more visitors can also mean more work for the Sheriff's Office.

"We did have a significant wreck on Highway 20 to start the Memorial Day holiday. When you look at the pictures of the car, you're thinking that was a serious crash, but he was wearing his seat belt," explained Dobridnia.

Walton County Sheriff's Office increased their patrols throughout the three day weekend. Deputies were on the lookout for aggressive drivers, speeding, drunk drivers, distracted driving and seat belt violations.

"The main goal is education. A lot of times, people don't want to hear, 'Buckle up, it's the law.' They want to see you leading by example," said Dobridnia.

This Memorial Day weekend wasn't all fun and games, WCSO reported arresting 22 people during the three day weekend. The Walton County Sheriff's Office will continue their Click It or Ticket and aggressive Driver Campaign until June 4th.

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