State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Jeb Bush
Governor

Lucy D. Hadi
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
December 11, 2006 850-488-4855

DCF URGES FLORIDIANS TO CELEBRATE SAFELY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
- Secretary asks all Floridians to recognize National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention month -

TALLAHASSEE- The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is asking Floridians to drive with care this holiday season. In observance of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month this December, Secretary Lucy Hadi is urging every driver to be mindful that the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year's is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving.


"All too often at this time of year, we pick up the newspaper or turn on the television only to learn of the tragic consequences of drinking and driving," said Secretary Hadi. "We have a personal responsibility to ourselves and our loved ones, and it's a simple one - don't drink and drive. The holiday season is a joyous time to be with family and friends, and your loved ones are counting on you to be safe and celebrate with them for many years to come," Hadi added.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,201 people across America, just during the month of December 2005, were killed in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol level of .01 or higher. In these crashes, 1,033 involved a driver with an illegal blood alcohol level of .08 or above.


To avoid injuring yourself or others this holiday season consider the following precautions: Select a designated driver before you leave to attend festivities, consider mass transit options, or do not get on the road at all and remain where you are until it is safe enough to get behind the wheel. If you are hosting a party, have the number of a cab company on hand for use by your guests should their driving ability be impaired.


The Florida Department of Children and Families Office of Substance Abuse is dedicated to the development of a comprehensive system of prevention and treatment services for individuals and families at risk of or affected by substance abuse; to promote their safety, well-being, and self-sufficiency. The Substance Abuse Program Office works closely with the Office of Drug Control, on the development of initiatives, strategies, and performance measures to reduce the incidence of substance abuse among Florida citizens. For more information about the Substance Abuse Program Office visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/mentalhealth/sa/. To learn more about National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month visit http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/.



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