PANAMA CITY, FLA. (WMBB) — The Florida Highway Patrol is adding additional patrol throughout the Labor Day weekend, to combat potential drunk driving. FHP is also expecting a major increase in traffic, with tourists coming to the beach for the long weekend.
“The amount of traffic we have here during the holiday weekend, you know, probably triple then what we normally have throughout the week or weekend on a normal, normal day,” Sergeant Jason French of Florida Highway Patrol said. “So with the amount of traffic, we’re going to increase the enforcement.”
Both Florida Highway Patrol and the Panama City Police Department are concerned about the risks that drunk driving could pose on the roadways throughout the weekend.
“We do encourage the public though to drink responsibly,” Ken McVay, Panama City Police Department Media Specialist said. “It is your individual choice of course but we encourage you to use some sort of other transportation if you plan to use alcohol. We do not want you behind the wheel.”
Florida Highway Patrol is concerned about potential deaths that could result from drunk driving, French said.
“The danger of driving drunk, inattentive, erratic, high speed, is fatalities,” French said. “And that’s what we’re here for, to prevent fatalities.”
Besides drunk drivers, FHP will also be on the lookout for drivers who are not paying attention to the road or driving recklessly.
“We’re going to be looking for drunk drivers,” French said. “You know like we normally do, we’re just going to be out in more force during the holiday season. Inattentive drivers, texting, driving, reading books, things like that, anything that would take your mind off of what you’re doing driving in the roadway.”