A sheriff's deputy in Florida has drawn attention this week for dressing up as the "Grinch," a fictional character created by famed author Dr. Seuss, and passing out onions to speeding drivers. The event is a part of his over two-decade-old tradition to spread awareness.

Col. Lou Caputo, 37, of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, is the man behind the Grinch tradition. Monroe County includes the islands of the Florida Keys.

Drivers going 5 mph over the speed limit in an elementary school zone on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway were stopped and met with the costumed Grinch, then given the option of a speeding ticket or an onion.

"It's about education, awareness that our school zones are still operating even though it's the holiday season. We want people to slow down," Caputo told the Associated Press.

"It catches them off guard. But when I give them a clear choice of a citation or the onion, they will take the onion. And I've had them eat the onion right in front of me," he added.

Caputo has gone out and worn the Grinch costume during Christmas time almost every year since 2000 when "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" came out with actor Jim Carrey, a Fox affiliate in Orlando noted.

Those speeding over 5 mph in the school zone are given a typical speeding ticket.