Safeguarding Our Community

Cheers! Without Tears

by Ken Dewey

ORCA Vice Chairman

“A Unique Way of Life”… “a refuge from the clamor and demands of the world beyond our boundar­ies”…”the reassurance of world-class security and public safety”…”a place where privacy is paramount, security is assured, and family comes first”.

This is our magical world, created by the exceptional talents of the Club and safeguarded by ORCA and Public Safety. In experiencing the magic, however, it is easy to overlook the fact that the laws of nature, common sense and the State of Florida still apply. Nowhere more seriously than when operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yes, these things apply even on our privately-owned streets and paths, as well as to auto­mobiles, carts and motor scooters.

Protocols are in Place

We all know that enjoying cocktails or wine with a meal, experiencing the Reef Lounge, Burgee Bar or other gathering spots can involve alcohol consumption that impairs our ability to operate an automo­bile, golf cart or motor scooter. And who hasn’t seen films show­ing the consequences of driving under the influence? Even at our 25 MPH speed limit, serious risks exist. Just last weekend, an early morning incident involved a driver who caused a minor accident, fled the scene and lost control of his automobile, damaging it extensively, destroying landscaping along Marlin Lane in the process. Fortunately, airbag deployment prevented the driver from being injured, and he narrowly avoided colliding with a golf cart carrying four people. Public Safety responded to check the driver for injuries; per protocol, the Sheriff’s Department investigated for evidence of DUI. The outcome of which is not the message, it is the fact that this could have been easily avoided.

Safe Transport Options

Part of our magic is recognizing that an atmosphere of celebration exists here, and providing means for indi­viduals to continue the fun without endangering themselves or others when the party is over. Have you seen the Public Safety officer sta­tioned in the Fishing Village on busy nights? Part of his job is to encour­age anyone unable to drive safely to be transported home (along with their vehicle) either by the bell stand or Public Safety. What other com­munity provides this kind of service? And this is available to everyone on the Reef, no matter where or when the situation arises. It’s as simple as calling Public Safety, who will gladly assist you. They far prefer this to transporting someone off the Reef via ambulance or helicopter.

In the end, preserving our Unique Way of Life depends on all of us, not only those we have hired to assist us. We encourage you to share this message with visiting friends and family and to set a good example by using the resources available to safeguard yourself and all those around you.