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"Operation Ball Drop" Leads to 53 DUI Arrests Over New Year's Eve in Hillsborough County


Hillsborough County, FL – The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, in a concerted effort with local law enforcement agencies, has successfully concluded "Operation Ball Drop," a targeted campaign against driving under the influence (DUI). Spanning from December 29, 2023, to January 1, 2024, the operation led to a significant number of arrests and traffic stops, ensuring safer roads during the New Year's Eve celebrations.

"Even though New Year's Eve is a time to celebrate new beginnings, there is never an excuse to drink and drive. Each arrest signifies preventing a potential tragedy," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "I want to express my gratitude to our deputies and collaborative partner agencies who selflessly sacrificed time with their families to ensure the safety of our community. Their dedication is a testament to our commitment to protect and serve."

The initiative saw the collaboration of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) deputies with the Tampa Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol. Their joint mission was to safeguard the community from the perils of impaired driving, a concern particularly heightened during festive periods.

The results of "Operation Ball Drop" underscore the extent of law enforcement efforts:

  • Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office alone conducted 424 traffic stops, issued 22 citations, gave 402 warnings, and made 25 DUI arrests.

  • In total, combining the efforts of HCSO and participating agencies, the operation witnessed 544 traffic stops, 64 citations, 493 warnings, and 53 DUI arrests.


These statistics reflect a robust and proactive approach to law enforcement during one of the busiest times of the year. The high number of traffic stops and DUI arrests highlights the ongoing issue of impaired driving and the dedication of law enforcement agencies to address it.

"As we step into a new year, let's make a promise to prioritize responsible choices and shared safety. Let's be selfless, understanding that our decisions behind the wheel impact not only ourselves but also the lives of others," said Sheriff Chad Chronister.

Sheriff's deputies, police officers, and highway patrol troopers worked tirelessly throughout the operation, focusing on areas known for DUI-related incidents. Their presence aimed not only to apprehend offenders but also to deter potential impaired drivers, contributing to the overall safety of the community during the New Year's festivities.


"Operation Ball Drop" is part of a broader commitment by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and its partners to reduce the incidence of DUIs and enhance road safety. The operation's success sends a strong message about the consequences of impaired driving and the unwavering resolve of law enforcement agencies to enforce the law for the safety of all road users.

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