Drunk driving is a huge issue in the Tampa Bay area

Hillsborough County leads state in DUIs
Posted at 11:10 PM, Apr 28, 2017

According to statistics provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Hillsborough County leads the state of Florida in DUI crashes.

That number is why Hillsborough County, Tampa Police, Florida Highway Patrol, University of South Florida Police, and other law enforcement agencies are teaming up to get as many drunk drivers as they can off the streets.

“When you look at we have had over 1,400 DUI crashes, that comes out to like 4 per day in Hillsborough County, that adds up to 3 people injured, in a crash, per day,” Jeffrey King with MADD said. “And, when you look at 67 people were killed in Hillsborough County last year, it is unbelievable. Because it is 100 percent preventable.”

ABC Action News rode along with Corporal Kristy Udagawa. She said the number of people arrested during targeted patrols is staggering. 

According to statistics from HCSO’s Central Breath Testing Unit report, since January, 1170 drivers were arrested for drunk driving. Of those who submitted to breath tests all were at .14 or higher. That is nearly double the legal limit of .08. Udagawa also said people 40% of drivers pulled over, who were suspected of being intoxicated, refused breath tests.

After 13-year-old Jahiem Robertson was hit and killed by a drunk driver in Polk County,  Udagawa says its a reminder of how important their job is.

“It definitely puts me more on high alert,” Udagawa said. “It makes me want to stop every car that I can to verify that they are not drunk…I want to make sure that person is not impaired.”

According to statistics from MADD, there were 67 people killed by drunk drivers in 2016.