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Law enforcement will be out in full force over spring break

Over the next few weeks, college students across the nation will be given some much-needed time away from the rigors of their coursework courtesy of the spring break holiday. While many of these young people will head home to spend time with family or opt to relax on campus, still others will be traveling to warmer climes.

Indeed, thousands of these spring breakers will be heading here to Florida to lounge on the sandy beaches, visit popular tourist destinations and, of course, partake of our state's active nightlife.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with any of this, college students planning to spend spring break here in the Sunshine State should be aware that law enforcement officials, including the Florida Highway Patrol, will be out in full force over the month of March looking to catch people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In case you are questioning their resolve, consider that Florida law enforcement officials have issued more citations during March than any other month of the year for the last four years. 

"This spring break, enjoy your time in Florida, but celebrate responsibly and think twice before you drink and drive," warned an FHP official.

It's worth noting that in addition to drunk drivers, law enforcement officials will also be targeting partiers under the legal drinking age, teaming up with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's (DBPR) Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to enforce the laws against sales of alcohol to minors and underage consumption.

Given the harsh penalties resulting from a conviction for underage drinking or DUI, as well as the possible collateral consequences -- a permanent criminal record affecting everything from future employment opportunities to graduate school acceptance -- spring breakers traveling to Florida would perhaps do well to exercise a considerable degree of caution.

In the event a mistake does happen, however, it's important not to panic and consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible so that they can get to work protecting your rights and your future. 

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