Reality TV Crews Capture Tulsa Driver's Arrest After DUI Crash
TULSA, Oklahoma - News on Six crews responded to a suspected drunk driving accident in downtown Tulsa last night, and noticed we weren't the only camera crew there. The TLC network is shadowing Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers as they bust people for DUI's.
All Mark McSherry saw were headlights coming toward his Jeep.
"Tried to turn away from us, we turned away from them. Then all of a sudden they changed their mind and turned toward us," McSherry said.
McSherry, his wife and three children were driving south on Cincinnati when troopers say Nicholas Mancino hit their car head-on. Troopers arrested Mancino for driving drunk.
A TLC photographer caught it all on camera for a series called "DUI." The show shadows Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers.
"Looking for any kind of behavior that's outside of the norm," OHP Trooper Chris West said.
As they pull over drunk and high drivers, OHP says producers chose Oklahoma for the show because the state takes DUI's seriously.
From the arrest to the punishment phase, it's one of the quickest turnarounds in the country. Three months is typical, or six months if driving drunk led to an accident.
"Gonna cost me money I don't have," said a suspect, who was also arrested for driving under the influence.
"If you're going to make the decision to drink and drive, if you're going to put everyone else at risk, then we're going to be out there to take you off the roads and put you in prison," one trooper said.
McSherry and his family walked away from this accident.
"We didn't really know what to do. There's not much we could do in that short amount of time," McSherry said.
He knows not all victims of drunk driving are that lucky, and hopes this show keeps drivers from putting families like his in danger.
OHP Lt. George Brown says TLC began filming the series over the Fourth of July weekend in Ardmore, Sallisaw and Tulsa. He says TLC has shot 12 episodes so far and the ratings have been high. He says the network may film more episodes.
Lt. Brown says OHP schedules camera crews to ride along with its troopers. He says if overtime is an issue, the troopers are paid with money from the Highway Safety Office.
"DUI" premiered December 1 on TLC and airs at various times throughout the network's schedule.