Sheriff David Gee launched S.A.V.E. in June 2006 to partner with alcohol vendors and retailers and create a proactive collaboration to inform and educate employees and managers. The goal is to reduce alcohol-related traffic crashes and death in Hillsborough County.
This innovative program, developed by Deputy Scott M. Sitton, provides alcohol vendors with a direct link to the Sheriff’s Office to answer questions, offer guidance on state laws and help train staff. Vendor topics typically covered by Deputy Sitton include how to monitor and avoid serving too much alcohol to someone, preventing underage drinking and maintaining a neighborhood friendly establishment.
From the years 2000 to 2005, Hillsborough County had the dubious distinction of being the statewide leader in the number of DUI-related traffic deaths. With the inception of S.A.V.E. and other enforcement efforts, our county has fared better since 2006: we are now No. 3 in the number of alcohol-related deaths, but we continue to lead the state in the number of alcohol-related injuries and alcohol-related crashes.
S.A.V.E. was the showcase at a recent symposium, attended by more than 100 alcohol vendors and representatives from each Anheuser Busch distributor in Florida. Attendees were updated on what S.A.V.E. can offer their employees and associates through programs and training on responsible service, as well as their exposure to liability issues for failure to act responsibly when serving alcohol to the public.
Many alcohol vendors in Hillsborough County have embraced S.A.V.E., and invited the Sheriff’s Office to conduct training sessions for employees, and undercover operations to reveal underage drinkers and counterfeit and fake forms of identification.
Which alcohol vendors may work the the Sheriff’s Office and S.A.V.E.?
Any alcohol vendor may contact the Sheriff’s Office and request to have their alcohol service policy and employee training practices reviewed, along with any other questions they may have.
In addition to this the Sheriff’s Office collects “last drink” information from individuals arrested in Hillsborough County for DUI.
What is a “last drink survey”?
A last drink survey is conducted by all law enforcement officers making an arrest for DUI in Hillsborough County. This is accomplished by asking every offender, “Where were you last drinking?” Their responses, which are voluntary, are then compiled into a database.
What do you do with the information collected by the “last drink survey”?
A list of the “Top 10 ” alcohol vendors attributed to DUI arrests is compiled every month. This “Top 10” list is then used to work with those vendors to reduce the DUI’s connected to their establishments by the arrestees.
What can S.A.V.E. do to help vendors reduce alcohol-related incidents?
In addition to working with the vendor in reviewing their alcohol service policy and employee training practices, Deputy Sitton offers presentations to employees stressing responsible service of alcohol and the consequences of failing to do so. Detection of fake I.D.’s and prevention of access of alcohol by underage teens is also shared with employees.
Does S.A.V.E. do anything about underage drinking?
Yes, S.A.V.E. also works with vendors in preventing underage access to alcohol. Compliance checks of vendors are also regularly conducted in conjunction with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.
Is S.A.V.E. doing anything about open house parties?
Yes, S.A.V.E. investigates reports of open house parties and takes appropriate enforcement action when needed. You can report under age open house parties here: