Right now, Florida Highway Patrol is preparing to once again kick off its "Drive sober--or get pulled over" campaign. The message comes on the heels of at least four crashes involving drunk drivers in the bay area with two deaths, and another person in critical condition. Those impacted by the accidents hope it's a wake-up call to keep the roads safe...
Carolina Plested has a hard time holding back the tears..when describing her long time friend Caroline Sine.
"I honestly don't know many people who are as kind, and generous, and just a kind soul like she was," Plested said.
Police say Caroline Sine died this week after she and her boyfriend were hit by a drunk driver.
Plested says she never fully understood the tremendous impact the decision of one person to drive drunk can have, until now.
"It just seems more cruel than ever that somebody would have a drink, or 10, and get behind the wheel with the real possibility that somebody's life could end that day and the ripple effect that it has through friends, family, and community. You don't realize the hundreds of people that were impacted, or thousands," Plested said.
The Florida Highway Patrol says it remains committed to stopping drunk drivers in their tracks.
There's a full-time DUI squad in Tampa Bay and it busts an average of 150 impaired drivers a month. This week, FHP is rolling out its annual "Drive sober--or get pulled over" campaign and hopes those efforts will put everyone on notice that drinking and driving is never okay..
"I don't want you driving impaired for any reason, long trip or short trip. I have no tolerance, no patience for anyone to get behind the wheel, drinking and driving.We've lost too many people," said Sgt. Steve Gaskins with FHP.
Those who knew and loved Pinellas Co. music teacher Caroline Sine now hope their immense loss will help someone else avoid making the choice to drink and drive.
"We will miss her and there's nothing we can do to bring her back. So I urge everyone to please..drinking and driving..it's murder. Just to think about it before you do," Plested said.