By Tamas Mondovics

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests and wrong-way driving accidents, many of which end in fatality, continue to keep members of local law enforcement busy.

While the level of responsibility lay with consumers and their attitude toward public safety, the reduction of alcohol related incidents has a lot to do with a cooperation between law enforcement and local alcohol vendors.

A business that recently received recognition from Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee was Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa, which earned the prestigious Sheriff’s Alcohol Vendor Enforcement. (S.A.V.E.) Award.

Gee launched S.A.V.E. in June 2006 to partner with local alcohol vendors and retailers to inform and educate employees and managers in order to reduce alcohol related traffic crashes and deaths in Hillsborough County.  

Many businesses in Hillsborough County have embraced S.A.V.E. and invited the Sheriff’s Office to conduct training sessions for their employees, and undercover operations to reveal underage drinkers and fake forms of identification.

According to HCSO’s Public Information Office, it is the second time for the casino to receive the recognition; the first time being in 2011.

HCSO officials emphasized that as in previous years, during 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa trained more than 455 of their staff and personnel about the dangers of over servicing their patrons.

With an average of 25,000 patrons entering the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino daily, there was a 10 percent reduction in DUI arrests in 2015, with zero DUI arrests made in April of 2015. HCSO DUI Sergeant Troy Morgan, under the direction of the Sheriff’s Office DUI division and with fellow deputies, tirelessly works with local restaurants and establishments and local schools to raise awareness of such programs as Operation 3D and S.A.V.E.

“It’s all about people caring about what happens to them and to others after the choices they make,” Morgan said.

For more about Operation 3D, S.A.V.E. and HCSO’s youth drivers safety programs, visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.