Certain drinking establishments are known for allowing their clientele to get a little too tipsy. Law enforcement around the country, including Florida, have been paying attention to this trend and doing what they can with regard to damage control. One effective method is the SAVE program in Hillsborough County, Florida. Launched in 2006 by the County’s Sheriff David Gee, the program works with both retailers and vendors of alcohol to keep drunk driving at a minimum.
The SAVE program mainly serves as an education force. Employees, including managers, of alcohol-related businesses need to remain knowledgeable of things to watch out for and applicable laws. Underage drinking is one of the issues tackled by SAVE. Educating bar and liquor store employees about fake identification is imperative to keeping underage drinking under control. So far, Hillsborough County establishments have welcomed the program, allowing undercover operations and making use of the valuable information offered.
As part of SAVE, the Sheriff’s office can review employee training practices and service policies for alcohol vendors. This can be especially useful for staying off SAVE’s “Top 10” list. The list is a compilation of the 10 places most DUI offenders received their last drink before getting arrested. The “Top 10” list is refreshed monthly, so that alcohol vendors and the Sheriff’s office can keep track of which establishments are contributing the most to drunk driving in the area. Just like a car breathalyzer is a consequence for driving while intoxicated, there are consequences to being irresponsible while serving alcohol, so SAVE educates vendors on those, as well.
The information for the “Top 10” list is gathered from a “last drink survey”. This survey is simply a process for gathering drinking information for drivers arrested for DUIs. Drivers answer voluntarily and then law enforcement puts their answers in a database. From the database, the answers become part of the “Top 10” list and SAVE uses the list to help increase awareness and education at the involved establishments. With an ultimate goal of decreasing injuries and deaths related to DUIs, the Hillsborough County SAVE program is working hard to make sure everyone who can make a difference has the opportunity to do so.