Law enforcement along one part of Florida’s Treasure Coast say they have noticed a major increase in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic began: the number of arrests for drivers under the influence of alcohol.
The State Attorney’s Office for the 19th district, which includes Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties, said data for a one month period that ended Monday showed a 21 percent increase in the number of arrests.
“Prior to the COVID-19 situation, if someone went to a lounge or bar and had a few drinks, they would have a designated driver. Now they are drinking on their own and they are not with their friends,” Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told NBC affiliate WPTV-TV.
Officials from other counties in South Florida, including both Miami-Dade and Broward, have not released their latest numbers on the arrests made during the pandemic.