MIAMI (WSVN) - Law enforcement agencies will be stepping up enforcement of impaired driving as South Florida prepares to welcome the new year.

Florida Highway Patrols troopers will be out on the streets enforcing laws as the new year arrives. The coronavirus pandemic has not stopped drunk drivers, and it will not stop the crackdown by law enforcement.

“Our focus is on the apprehension and detection of DUI drivers,” FHP Maj. Chris Dellapitra said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers will also be patrolling the waterways this upcoming weekend.

“We will be at the boat ramps,” FWC Officer Ronald Washington said. “We will be at the sand bars and on the waterways, so please, leave the booze at home.”

The stepped-up patrols will focus on looking for impaired drivers, officials said.

“Our annual campaign, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,’ means zero tolerance to putting your life and others in danger,” FHP Trooper Joe Sanchez said. “Assign a designated driver, have a plan of action, use ride services — they’re much, much cheaper than a DUI.”

Every day in the U.S., 29 people die following crashes involving a DUI, and those deaths can be prevented, officials said, if the driver decided not to get behind the wheel.

“On Jan. 24, 2009, on Saturday night, Richard Anthony Doval took my father’s life in an instant,” Mothers Against Drunk Driving spokesperson Heather Geronemus said. “My father was crossing the street on foot, and he was struck and killed and thrown 75 feet to his death in the middle of a busy street in Miami. When he was finally apprehended, that man said that he hit a mailbox as he stumbled out of his car with an open container.”

“In memory of my father, Dr. Robert Geronemus, please designate a driver this weekend,” Geronemus added. “All of us have the power to end it with better decision making.”

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