Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln Police Department’

I was invited to go to the third shift briefing last night, November 30th, as the Lincoln Police Department kicked-off their annual holiday campaign enforcing our laws that protect us from impaired drivers.  First off, I want to thank State Senator Tony Fulton for coming along with MADD and talking about important legislation fast approaching the Unicameral in January.

Second, I want to express my sincere appreciation for the work all law enforcement officers do daily to ensure the public is safe, convictions are made and offenders are held accountable – especially when it comes to drunk driving.  Drunk driving is a  crime that is violent and randomly impacts friends, family and our community.  Driving drunk is not a mistake – drunk driving is a choice and I for one appreciate our law enforcement officers for making sure those who make the choice to drive drunk are apprehended.

Here at MADD, all of us want to support the heroes who keep our roads safe. Through research, high-visibility law enforcement has proven to be effective in catching drunk drivers and acts as a deterrent by discouraging  others from driving drunk.  MADD applauds the work done in Lancaster County with 2,939 arrests for DUI, in 2009, and an astounding 2,221 made by the Lincoln Police Department. That is an average of 6 arrests for DUI a day – every day of the year!

As the holiday season fast approaches, I want to remind everyone to make a personal pledge to designate a sober driver for the evening, always wear your seatbelt and never provide alcohol to those under 21 – it’s the law!

Last, a special thanks to all law enforcement officers across the state for the work they accomplish and for ensuring our roads are safe to travel. Be it shopping for gifts, bringing home that special tree or just meeting up with friends and family – thank those heroes who keep us safe!

Lincoln Police Department released their numbers for DUI arrests and they hit an all time high. http://www.journalstar.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/article_d172fa24-f986-11de-9cfa-001cc4c03286.html On behalf of MADD, we applaud LPD and the efforts of all the officers as they ensured that our roads were safe to travel. 

Thankfully the Lincoln Police Department is not unique and many agencies across the state have had record arrests.  There is a concerted effort by many highway safety advocates (including MADD) to support the Nebraska Highway Safety Plan http://www.dor.state.ne.us/highway-safety/docs/strat-hwy-sfty-plan.pdf .  You will want to look at Appendix II and see High Priority areas and it should come as no surprise that enforcing DUI laws ranks HIGH.  As Nebraskans we should care about the fact that:  one person dies every five days due to an alcohol-related crash in our state. A 100% preventable crime and thanks to enforcement we have seen lives saved! 

Nebraska ranked among the top for the least amount a fatalities due to alcohol-related crashes in 2008.  I am proud that we have 30 more individuals with families and friends still intact.

Checkpoints and heavy enforcement during high traffic times have worked to save lives  and not just in our state but in almost all 50 states.  It is an easy message “if you drink and drive you will get caught.”  http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-12-07-drunk-driving_N.htm 

Bringing me back to the Lincoln Police Department’s, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department and  the Nebraska State Patrol holiday enforcement resulted in zero alcohol-related deaths in December in Lancaster County in 2009.  Thanks to all for your hard work and keeping us safe as we navigate our way to and from our everyday activities: work, kids, movies, family, errands, grandparents, and the grocery store.

MADD is on the Ribbon but Saving Lives is on Our Minds.

MADD Nebraska would like to recognize  State Operations Council Member, Marcie Hagerty, formerly a Deputy County Attorney with the Lancaster County,  she did a great job of not only winning on the motion, but of getting the right case to appeal and seeing that a good record was made. You can see that by reading the opinion. http://www.supremecourt.ne.gov/opinions/2009/november/nov20/s08-192.pdf  The experts were among the best.  MADD Nebraska understands that this was a team effort involving many in and out of the state. 

Nebraska Supreme Court

 

  • In part, the court wrote: “A law enforcement officer with the training and experience offered by ‘drug recognition expert’ certification is sufficiently qualified to testify, based on his or her evaluation, that a suspect was under the influence of drugs.”

Thanks also goes out to the Attorney General’s staff as they did a masterful job on the appeal, and for funding through the Office of Highway Safety.
One of the greatest things about the decision is that it does not require the full foundational process to qualify the DRE for the opinion. It clearly states that the experience and training that the DRE status represents will qualify the officer to give an opinion. The opinion is unequivocal and unanimous. What a great win for the Lancaster County Attorney and Nebraska.http://drugrecognitionexpert.blogspot.com/ 

Another way to ensure we eliminate impaired driving in our state – thanks to all. 

http://www.maddnebraska.org/news_and_numbers/research

As you may well know by now, Halloween is on a Saturday and this causes MADD to pause with some concern.  Law Enforcement will be on their toes and that includes Lincoln Police Department as the will hold sobriety checkpoints across Lincoln. http://www.1011now.com/home/headlines/67090522.html

gfxThere is nothing scary about the checkpoints unless you are driving impaired, under suspension, have an outstanding warrant, etc. For our readers I just wanted to outline the basics of sobriety checkpoints:

  • What is a sobriety checkpoint?
  • In a sobriety checkpoint, law enforcement officials set up clearly visible checkpoints at certain points on the road where typically high rates of drunk driving crashes occur. Vehicles are stopped in a specific sequence, such as every other vehicle. Police evaluate the driver for signs of impairment, and if they suspect the driver is intoxicated, the driver must take a breathalyzer test. If drivers’ BAC measure the illegal limit of .08 or higher, they will be arrested immediately. Checkpoints deter drunk driving and save lives.
  • How effective are sobriety checkpoints?
  • Sobriety checkpoints work. Research shows that highly publicized, highly visible and frequent sobriety checkpoints reduce fatal drunk driving crashes by an average of 24 percent. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving supports this crackdown using sobriety checkpoints to stop drunk drivers, and ultimately deter drunk driving.buzzedlogo
  • Aren’t sobriety checkpoints unfair to safe drivers?
  • The public doesn’t think so. Public opinion survey data indicates that virtually all (87 percent) of Americans support sobriety checkpoints to find and arrest drunk drivers.
  • How do Americans feel about tougher enforcement?
  • An overwhelming number of Americans agree that drunk driving must be eliminated and that strong law enforcement is the solution. The public demands action. Support for sobriety checkpoints has increased from 79 percent in 1993 to 87 percent in 2005. Americans view drunk driving as one of the greatest threats to themselves and their families on the roads. They fully support efforts to decrease this crime.
  • What is the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving? MADDLOG2
  • MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving in November 2006, to revitalize national efforts to combat drunk driving and raise the fight to a new, unprecedented level. The Campaign calls for high-visibility law enforcement, mandatory ignition interlock for all convicted drunk drivers, the development of advanced vehicle-based technology to detect and stop drunk drivers, and mobilization of community support. The Campaign is working you can support a nation without drunk driving! http://www.madd.org/Drunk-Driving/Drunk-Driving/Campaign-to-Eliminate-Drunk-Driving.aspx

Wishing everyone a Great Saturday!The%20Great%20Pumpkin%20Patch

Simera Reynolds

State Executive Director