According to a report released Tuesday afternoon 668 people were arrested for DUI by the Orange County Sheriff's Office which represents an increase of 4 percent for the same time period last year.
The increase in arrests is part of a larger crackdown by the OCSO in the central Florida region. Currently, the major focus of the OCSO's DUI unit is East Orange County which includes the University of Central Florida.
The UCF Police department which recorded 70 DUI arrests last year has taken a strict approach to the increase in arrests. UCF Police Chief Richard Beary believes there is a greater lesson for students to learn that goes beyond just being arrested. 'It's not just about getting arrested. It's not just about getting a record. It's about taking another human's life. It's about putting someone in a wheelchair for the rest of their life." said Beary.
Just like anyone else arrested for DUI students can possibly serve jail time or probation, have their driver's license suspender and pay large fines. However, college students can also loans or grants revoked and possibly get kicked out of school.
With the recent increase in DUI arrests, students can expect elevated law enforcement presence throughout the greater Orlando and Central Florida area. The consequences of a DUI conviction can are severe, but despite knowing that many more students will be arrested for drunk driving.
Orange County had the most DUIs last year with just over 3,000 or about 25 DUIs for every 10,000 residents. However, Brevard County had the highest rate of DUI arrests with about 31 for every 10,000 residents.
Seminole County had the lowest amount of arrests for its population with a total of 628 or 15 for every 10,000 county residents. Volusia County had 1,110 arrests and Osceola County reported 621 DUI arrests. Both counties have an arrest rate of 22 arrests per 10,000 residents.
Lake County had a slightly higher arrest rate of 26 arrests per 10,000 residents and reported a total of 793 arrests.
Daytona beach Shores the highest rate of DUI arrests per population. The department reported 69 arrests for a population of just 4,258 residents, arrested 69 By comparison; Ormond Beach also had 69 DUI arrests with a population of 38,376.
Stephen Dembinsky the Public Safety Director of Daytona Beach Shores credits the high arrest to the unique public safety model at his department and not an increase in drunk drivers on the road.
"Every police officer you see on street is also a firefighter and has all his gear with him," Dembinksy said. "So I have twice as many police officers on the street or twice as many firefighters on the street.
"Dembinksy said the law enforcement agencies in Volusia County work hard to keep drunk drivers off the streets, and stressed that "a small town like this wouldn't have this many officers on the street if it wasn't for the public safety model."