LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A relatively new DUI intervention program through the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department focuses on making sure that repeat offenders don’t get behind the wheel intoxicated again.

The program was formed after DUIs began climbing across the Las Vegas valley during the pandemic.

Mike Thiele is the lead intervention officer for the department’s traffic division and helps run the DUI program.

“We knew that arresting wasn’t going to get this problem solved,” he told 8 News Now. “We’re trying to reverse that recidivism.”

Officers go door-to-door to the homes of those convicted of a second DUI with a social worker.
They attempt to understand why they were arrested on a DUI and how future arrests can be prevented.

“We have that person right there with us giving them the services out in the field,” he added. “Versus just an officer saying here’s this information, hopefully, you follow up.”

The program’s on a volunteer basis for the offenders, and about 40 people have been contacted thus far, and roughly 70% continue on with the program.

But to the parents of repeat offenders, such as Michael Martinez, it may just mean the difference between life and death.

“My son, if he feels that he needs help, go for it, and I’ll push him for it, I’ll tell him go, do it,” Martinez said. “Because I can only help you so much.”

Over nearly 200 DUI arrests have been made in the program’s jurisdiction in 2022.

The DUI Prevention program began in August of 2021, according to Thiele, but he said much more success has been seen since involving social workers in the field.

According to a report by buyautoinsurance.com, using information from the FBI and U.S. Census Bureau, Las Vegas has the highest amount of DUIs per population size, which includes tourists.