NYE DUI Arrests in South Florida
Reports from around the State of Florida appear to indicate that the overall number of DUI arrests were down from previous years. The combination of increased police presence, DUI checkpoints and alternative safe transportation options for drivers who had a few too many drinks may have contributed to the overall reduction in arrests. Florida Highway Patrol began advertising its ‘zero tolerance’ program weeks before the holiday season began and advised Florida citizens that every available trooper would be on the roads looking for aggressive and hostile drivers. Other organizations played their part in helping. Tow truck operators offered drivers free tow rides home on New Years Eve for those that drank and considered driving. Beer maker Anheuser-Busch donated $50,000.00 to tow truck operators in order to allow them to participate in this program. This was the 10th year of Anheuser-Busch’s “Tow to Go” program. Over 100 South Florida tow truck operators participated in the program. Perhaps the biggest deterrent for the holiday season was the unfortunate incident involving former New York Yankee player Jim Leyritz who was charged and arrested with DUI manslaughter and DUI property damage in connection with the death of Fredia Ann Veitch, a 30 year old Plantation woman and mother of two, on the early morning of December 28th, 2007. Leyritz, who was on his way home from a birthday party thrown in his honor, reportedly crashed into Veitch, who was not wearing her seatbelt, after running a red light. Police reports indicate that Leyritz smelled of alcohol, failed field sobriety tests and refused to take the breathalyzer. Two blood samples were taken once police received confirmation of Veitch’s death. Details of his blood alcohol content have not yet been released; however, it would seem for now that a combination of all of these factors contributed to an overall safer holiday season.