The arrest of more than 400 suspected impaired drivers proves that law enforcement’s DUI Strike Team is delivering results. A team of seven made the arrests over the past four months.
The partnership for the DUI Strike Team between Metro Police and Nevada Highway Patrol started on Oct. 24, 2018
The seven members on the DUI Strike Team breaks down as followed: Four Metro officers and three NHP troopers.
The blue marks on the map below represent every arrest made by the DUI strike team since its inception four months ago.
“The numbers prove why this team needs to be out there,” said Andrew Bennett, Nevada Office of Traffic Safety. “This was a first of its kind effort in Southern Nevada and in the state of Nevada.”
Bennett has been helping facilitate the partnership between Metro and NHP. The officers and troopers assigned to the team specifically target impaired drivers all over the valley.
“These efforts are needed and hopefully our community — we’ve seen a positive community response to the Strike Team and it is something that the folks need to know that they are out there to save their loved ones,” Bennett said.
In 2017, 101 people in Nevada died in alcohol-related crashes. That was an almost 19 percent increase compared to the previous year.
The official traffic report for 2018 is not out, but according to Bennett, it’s bad.
“Last year we had a horrible year,” Bennett said.
But, there are efforts to prevent repeat offenders from striking again.
As of last Oct. 1, each person arrested for a DUI has been required to place an ignition interlock in their vehicle.
“So what this does is it allows them to drive and its a safeguard for the public knowing that even though you’re charged with DUI, if they have any alcohol in their system, the car won’t start,” said Mace Yampolsky, criminal defense attorney.
Yampolsky, says its too early to tell if the devices will prevent repeat offenders, plus, the strike team has seen it all.
“This has been a mixed group of first-time offenders and multi offenders,” said Bennett.
At an average of 100 arrests per month, the specialized team is expected to account for 10 percent of the DUI arrests in the state over the next year.
“Unfortunately that shows exactly why they have to be out there,” said Bennett.
The DUI Strike Team will expand this week when Metro adds a fifth officer.