Thursday, November 13, 2014
Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte, North Carolina have introduced a new program aimed at the reduction of people driving while impaired. I think that this program has some real merit, the real idea of keeping impaired drivers off of the road is the real intention, even more than putting drunk drivers in jail. Like so many other things , prevention is a better cure than jail after someone has been injured or killed.
The Mecklenburg County ABC Board Law Enforcement Division stopped 371 adults who have consumed alcohol from getting behind the wheel in an innovative program to prevent driving while impaired offenses in the County. The goal of Operation Safe Streets is to remind adults who have consumed alcohol at permitted establishments the choice they have of by getting behind the wheel and possibly committing a crime or finding an alternative safe ride home.
Officers approach would-be drivers before they reach their car to discuss safe alternatives such as calling a friend or family member, having someone else in their party who has not been drinking drive, or taking professional transportation (cab). Partnering with 3 local cab companies, drivers are positioned close by if needed. As a last resort, if no safe transportation alternatives are available, the Mecklenburg County ABC Board will pay for the cab ride. In 7 operations, only 25 vouchers for rides were reimbursed by the Board, totaling less than $375.00.
This pro-active community policing effort saves law enforcement time and burdens on the criminal justice system, prevents crashes and other injuries, and challenges adults to plan safe transportation the next time they are out. Funds for this program come from the sales of distilled spirits in Mecklenburg County.
Source: The Mecklenburg County ABC Board
November 11, 2014