Deputies on lookout for speeders, impaired drivers

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) has issued a safety announcement in regards to traffic complaints.

OCSO has been inundated with complaints from residents about speeders in residential areas and areas where children gather such as school zones, parks and playgrounds. Motorists are reminded that if there is not a speed limit in a residential area, the speed limit is 30 mph.

Safe driving is important all year long but especially during the holidays when children are out of school. Whether or not you have children, you must learn how to drive when they are around in order to avoid potential injuries and fatalities.

Driving safely around children means keeping in mind their unpredictable nature, which translates to you slowing down and paying more attention to the road. Pay special attention to animals that may make their way toward the road.

Many people are harmed or killed every year by people who are speeding or not paying attention when they drive through residential communities carelessly. Drive safely in a residential area by staying alert to surroundings, following the speed limit and not getting distracted while driving.

Traffic enforcement has saturated the county which has resulted in the following: from Oct. 15, 2017 through Nov. 20, 2017, there were 860 vehicles pulled over; there were 419 warnings given for minor traffic violations, 417 citations written for speeding, faulty equipment and running stop signs; 23 individuals were arrested and one arrested for multiple infractions.

During the upcoming holiday season, OCSO deputies will conduct concentrated patrols on the look out for not only speeding motorists but those who may be driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

What every host needs to know:

• Social responsibility. This phrase encompasses everything from planning the party menu to assessing how guests will get home safely once the party is over. The role as a responsible party host can keep friends and loved ones safe.

• Do not rely on coffee to sober up guests. Only time can make someone sober.

• Beer and wine are just as intoxicating as “hard” liquor. In the United States, one “standard” drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in: 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5 percent alcohol; 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12 percent alcohol; 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40 percent alcohol.

• Do not rely on someone’s physical appearance to determine if he or she has had too much to drink.

• Mixers won’t help dilute alcohol. Carbonated mixers like club soda or tonic water cause alcohol to be absorbed into a person’s system more quickly. Fruit juice and other sweet mixers mask the taste of alcohol and may cause people to drink more.

The OCSO would like to conclude this holiday season safety announcement with the general message of please adhere to the speed limit, do not be intoxicated on the road in control of a vehicle, but most of all be safe and enjoy the Holiday Season!

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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