Atlanta Dismantles DUI Task Force
ATLANTA (CBS46) –
The Atlanta Police Department is dismantling the DUI task force and reassigning the officers. APD’s decision doesn’t sit well with some Atlanta residents who lost family members in drunk driving accidents.
Atlanta police said they are not shutting down the DUI Task Force because of budgetary reasons, but they could be making the change because of a decrease in DUI’s lately. CBS46 learned that DUI arrests were down last year to 602, their lowest number in three years.
Kenny Tracy will never forget the horrible day 12 years ago when his mother was killed by a drunk driver.
“Drunk driving is an extremely preventable tragedy,” Tracy said.
Naturally he can’t understand why Atlanta police would eliminate a task force designed to keep the roads safe.
“The most successful, preventative measure in combating drunk driving is highly visible, targeted enforcement against drunk driving which this task force is or now was,” Tracy said.
Atlanta police will move the officers on the DUI task force to different zones around the city. They will also train their entire staff on DUI procedures.
“These officers possess a level of expertise that will reach a wider audience if they are working alongside zone personnel. We expect that this concentrated effort will result in an increase in DUI detection and apprehension,” Atlanta police said in a statement.
Tracy isn’t convinced their new plan will be effective.
“Both their eyes are no longer on drunk driving and so I think it gives those risky drivers in those highly trafficked DUI areas a little more of a green light to go and grab their keys and press their luck in a way,” Tracy said.
Clarissa Tullis couldn’t believe APD’s decision either.
“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? No, way,'” Tullis said.
Her 19-year-old sister Kristy was 9-months pregnant when she and her unborn child were killed by a drunk driver.
“To me it seems as if they’re not really worried about people drinking and driving. They’re more concerned about something else, but it’s very important because people lose their lives from this,” Tullis said. “Whether I believe it or not, I hope it works.”
Atlanta Police said the six officers that were on the task force will assist other officers with DUI questions and provide guidance and on the job training to make for a smooth transition.
Listed below is the number of DUI arrests by the Atlanta Police Department since 2012:
- 2012 – 643 DUI arrests
- 2013 – 736 DUI arrests
- 2014 – 602 DUI arrests
- 2015 – 18 DUI arrests (only including Jan)