The DUI Strike Team, made up of metro police officers and NHP troopers, has officially made 500 arrests.
And that’s just in the past few months.
The DUI Strike Team started patrolling surface streets and highways last fall and says it is making a difference in DUI-related deaths on local highways.
“This is a team our valley has needed,” said Capt. Nick Farese, LVMPD Traffic Bureau.
Police say on nights when the strike team has been active, there’s only been one DUI-related traffic death on southern Nevada roadways.
“It’s mind-blowing,” Capt. Farese said. “It shows definitely the need for this team and the need for targeted DUI enforcement on a consistent basis.”
Each tally on a van represents one of those arrests. All of them, combined show success.
“You don’t want to celebrate people being arrested, but you do want to recognize and celebrate the lives that you know you’re potentially saving,” said Capt. Charles Haycox, Nevada Highway Patrol.
NHP and Metro say one-third of traffic deaths in the valley involve some kind of impairment and it’s not just alcohol.
Mairjuana plays a role in roughly 30 cases a month.
“The whole back is torn up,” said Romana Wells, who says her daughter’s car was hit by someone under the influence of marijuana this past weekend.
She’s happy there’s a team dedicated to preventing these incidents.
“It’s really good because there are a lot of impaired drivers out there,” Wells said. “All the ones, like us that don’t drink and drive or do drugs and drive, we’re the ones that usually end up getting hurt by it.”
The district attorney’s office is also getting involved, when it comes to prosecutions. Around a dozen of the drivers arrested are going through the justice system right now.
“It’s no longer a mistake, it’s no longer an accident, it’s physical choice to get behind that wheel impaired and you’re now gambling against this strike team,” said Andrew Bennett, Nevada Office of Traffic Safety.
Right now, the strike team is made up of six Metro officers and three NHP troopers. They’re hoping to add more manpower and expand their patrols to every day of the week.