Highway Patrol Cracks Down On Drunk Drivers

Sunday, April 1st 2007, 4:09 pm
By: News On 6

U.S. Marshals and Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers converged in Cherokee County Saturday to focus on drunk drivers. They did the same Friday night in Sequoyah County. The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports altogether, they arrested almost a hundred people.

In Cherokee County where there are 13,000 outstanding warrants, it doesn't take authorities very long to find a wanted person by just stopping drivers on a busy road. In Cherokee County, a night of roadblocks, and a sweep to look for wanted people turned into 17 arrests just for DUI.

"Last year, every weekend we had a fatal accident that was alcohol related," said OHP Captain Bill James.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol plans to change that this year by saturating Cherokee County with extra troopers. The patrol says they'll be less tolerant of violations like driving without a seatbelt, in the effort to catch people endangering others by driving drunk.

"And hopefully they'll wise up and get a designated driver,” said Smith. ”We don't want to eliminate the fun, but we want them to be safe when they come in here."

The effort in Sequoyah County resulted in 20 arrests and more than 100 traffic tickets Friday night. In Cherokee County Saturday, troopers arrested 78 people in a crackdown on drugs and drinking. They issued 236 traffic tickets.

"Getting some people off the road that don't need to be driving, no drivers license, some drug arrests," said OHP Trooper Rodney Vick.

The highway patrol says they'll keep the pressure on through the summer recreation season in Cherokee County, where alcohol related accidents around the water were common last year.

Related story:

03/31/2007 Crackdown In Cherokee County