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Travel safety

Troopers, local agencies up DUI enforcement over holidays

Posted: November 20, 2011 - 8:53pm

Kenai Peninsula residents traveling over the holidays will note an aggressive increase in the traffic enforcement efforts of local law agencies. 

The Alaska State Troopers and other agencies statewide are conducting extra traffic enforcement efforts and targeting those driving under the influence through Nov. 27.

“Officers realize the holidays can be tough for a lot of folks, so there’s more DUI enforcement for public safety reasons,” Soldotna Police Department Sgt. Stace Escott said.

The ramped up enforcement by Troopers will be focused on DUI enforcement for both alcohol and drugs. 

Kenai Police are concentrating on increased patrols on Friday for the “Christmas Comes to Kenai” events.

“We’ll have those activities to look after, so the department will have a substantial increase in enforcement that night,” Kenai Police Department Lt. David Ross said.

Traditionally, KPD has not seen an increase in drunken driving over the holidays, Ross said. 

Not getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is the best option, he said. 

People celebrating with alcohol are encouraged to plan ahead. Catching a ride with a friend or relative and other alternative means of getting home are encouraged. 

Taxi companies, such as Alaska Cab Inc. and Twin Cities Cab, are increasing their drivers over the Thanksgiving weekend.

SPD hasn’t had a DUI-related arrest over Thanksgiving weekend for the past three years, according to the department.

Escott contends the absence of DUI offenses in Soldotna is due to the advertisement of increased enforcement, the use of taxis and the nature of the community. 

“I think it’s all those things combined that have helped keep the stats low,” he said. “Both at Christmas and Thanksgiving.”

Extending the timeframe of extra enforcement by Troopers over two weeks was the decision of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; the federal agency providing part of the funding. 

Additional funding was provided by grant sources distributed through the Alaska Highway Safety Office. 

Holiday celebrations around Thanksgiving and Christmas usually extend beyond the days immediately surrounding the holidays, a Trooper spokesperson said.

AAA forecasts a total of 42.5 million people across the nation, up 4 percent from last year, traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Travel by car remains the dominant mode of transportation with 38.2 million people driving, according to AAA.

Troopers encourage residents to report every dangerous driver immediately by calling 911.

 

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at jerzy.shedlock@peninsulaclarion.com.

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akmscott
129
Points
akmscott 11/21/11 - 08:13 pm
0
0
It's all about the

It's all about the money!Holidays are their cash cows!

AKMaineIac
14
Points
AKMaineIac 11/22/11 - 12:13 am
0
0
Bag em if they're stupid

And if they're drinking and driving, they're stupid. If they're recklessly speeding, they're stupid. If they're texting and driving, or reading a book and driving, or watching a movie and driving, they're stupid.

Raoulduke
2865
Points
Raoulduke 11/22/11 - 05:45 am
0
0
Bust them all

What about the innocents that get hurt by these very stupid drivers?Who takes care of their families?Do the drivers forget that an automobile can become a deadly weapon?

msjinxie
110
Points
msjinxie 11/22/11 - 09:56 am
0
0
DUI and the Holidays

Every year it begins like this. More Troopers and Police on the road to intercept the drunken idiots who still try and drive. Put a 150 lb person, into a five thousand or more pound vehicle, going fast.....its a bullet out of control when your loaded. CALL a taxi, call a friend, there is no more excuses people. Call in every single vehicle you suspect is a problem, I do. So far, I have succssfully BAGGED a couple people by calling the REDDI hotline, so it DOES WORK. Happy Holidays everyone, please drive carefully, put your phones away and DRIVE defensively. Most of the time, there are little ones in those rigs that are the defenseless ones. Please think twice...you may be another victim of the REDDI system!

Norseman
2921
Points
Norseman 11/22/11 - 03:56 pm
0
0
book em dano

I am in full support of the added law enforcement during the holidays. Drunk drivers have effected my family and NO ONE needs to go thru the pain that drunk drivers cause innocent families.

I too report every drunk going down the road. Don't look the other way, make the call when you suspect a DWI.

akmscott
129
Points
akmscott 11/22/11 - 08:29 pm
0
0
Just don't be fooled by law

Just don't be fooled by law enforcement's so called "concern", over safety!They use that as an excuse for the cash-period!

AKMaineIac
14
Points
AKMaineIac 11/23/11 - 09:22 am
0
0
Don't be fooled

So, how much more do officers get paid if they stop a drunk driver, than if they don't? How much do they get paid for each arrest?

How much money does the department get? How much does the city or borough get?

Doesn't the state of Alaska get the majority of money collected from fines, with most court costs covered by fees? What gain is there for local police departments and municipalities in making any arrests, economically that is?

akmscott
129
Points
akmscott 11/23/11 - 08:44 pm
0
0
The money goes where it

The money goes where it goes-the marching orders and the quota's come from upstairs in the government but they all get their doughnuts!

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