Sarasota, Florida -- The Sarasota Sheriff's Office and its DUI Unit join Mothers Against Drunk Driving in support of its "Tie One On For Safety" Campaign.
Officers place red ribbon magnets on their DUI units as a reminder to motorists not to drink and drive. The ribbon also reminds everyone this holiday season to assign a non-drinking designated driver so everyone can arrive home safely.
Chris Martini, 32, speaks to students and community groups about the dangers of drinking and driving. Chris says when he was 16 he chose to drink and drive one night after leaving a party and crashed his car. He woke up the next day as a paraplegic from the waist down.
Chris says his decision to drink and drive changed his life and shattered dreams.
"I love playing sports -- I wished I could have played professional sports. Little things like getting out of bed getting dressed daily things that's all different, it's difficult. I can't pop out of bed and be in my car in two minutes. It's work every morning, getting through every day. My quality of life is better since I had the accident. I've come a long way, but things would have been better if I had not chosen to drink and drive."
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve in 2011, 931 people were killed in DUI crashes nationwide.
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 2012 Annual Traffic Crash Report shows DUI crashes in Sarasota increased 9% in 2011 with 342 DUI crashes, of those 19 people were killed and 146 injured.
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