Law Enforcement Targeting Impaired Drivers On New Year's Eve

Tuesday, December 31st 2019, 11:23 pm
By: Justin Shrair

On New Year's Eve, nearly 100 law enforcement agencies around the state worked together to stop impaired drivers.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says they are on a mission.

"To remove the drunk drivers or the people that are not willing to listen to what the warnings are. We are to remove them from the roadway to allow the other drivers to be safe," said Trooper Russell Callicoat with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

He is also an Impaired Driver Liaison with the Highway Safety Office. Troopers from across the state set up two checkpoints, one in Pottawatomie County and another in Tulsa County.

There were also extra Troopers out on the roads before during and after the checkpoints close looking for drivers who may have had too much to drink or who may be high behind the wheel.

"Just because you have a medical marijuana card does not mean you can smoke marijuana and drive a car," said Trooper Callicoat.

Also on the road, this New Year's Eve is a new piece of technology called the Intoxilyzer 8000, a mobile device that measures a person's blood alcohol content. Trooper Russell Callicoat said this mobile unit is the first one in the state. He said using this device will improve turnaround times during DUI arrests.

"So instead of having to drive your intoxicated driver to our headquarters or to the jail the machines here on the scene so we can go to people on the traffic stop it'll be at the checkpoint and it'll be out on the saturation patrol as well," said Trooper Callicoat. 

Most importantly Troopers said, people, need to have a plan before they go out. He said they also need to know how to get home safe.

"There are zero excuses if you drink and drive tonight you are choosing to drink and drive tonight there is no I had to do that with the services out there, there are zero excuses," said Trooper Callicoat.

If you suspect someone is impaired on the roads, immediately call 911.

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