Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another new record

As predicted, the officers of the Lincoln Police Department closed out 2009 with a record number of DWI arrests: 2,330. The new record eclipses the old one of 2,253 just set in 2008. Prior to that, the record of 1,992 stood for 34 years, since 1974.

As I have often opined, there is nothing a police officer does that has a more immediate and direct effect upon public safety than arrest a drunk driver. It protects not only other motorists, but the drunk himself or herself, too. The plummeting number of fatal crashes (especially drunk driving fatalities) in Nebraska is largely the result of the efforts of men and women in law enforcement to ramp up enforcement.

With two brutal blizzards, December was a tough month for the police and for enforcement. Officers till managed 170 arrests, though, to set the bar at an even highger level. It was a great job, and my hat is off to everyone who made a DWI arrest in 2009, and everyone who helped support the efforts of those officers.

There are a lot of good stories contained in that 2009 number, but you could hardly do better than this one, or this one, and this one, unless it was this one.


JIM J said...

This explains the many cars parked at The Meeting Place.
I know a person who got his 2nd DWI. He has spent about eight thousand dollars thus far. Huge insurance cost, probation frees, interlock fee, fine and court cost, monthly interlock fee, treatment cost, after care cost, civil costs to those hurt if an accident, cost of cab fares and transportation on bus. We have come a long way from the days of having a LEO "drive one home". Even the police arrest the police for DWI, not funny. This blog is better than several cups of coffee.
Happy drinking!

Anonymous said...


And the madness continues.
Strange they are all in the south bound lanes. Look for your self.
I say a city worker is not putting salt down on this spot!
good way to "show them"

Anonymous said...


Another SOUTH bound..the same direction that they all are at and the same place I seen the car spin out the day I called. Too much coincidence here.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

"He has spent about eight thousand dollars thus far. Huge insurance cost, probation frees, interlock fee, fine and court cost, monthly interlock fee, treatment cost, after care cost, civil costs to those hurt if an accident, cost of cab fares and transportation on bus."

But they still drink and drive.

Anonymous said...

Chief-Two things will cause fatalities/mile to continue to go down. DWI enforcement is imperative. Seat belt use/enforcement ranks up there as well. While belt usage is up, we still have an unbelievable 60% of our fatals not wearing belts in my state. Do you still have selective enforcement units such as ASAP from '70s? Are there federal funds available for you in the traffic area?

Anonymous said...

Does LPD give out MADD awards to officers who are excelling in DUI's? Sounds like they've done a great job with DUI enforcement this year!

The cheese stands alone said...

Re: 27th Street Bridge

I don't travel this part of town, and pretty much avoid 27th Street if I can. Could the street be treated better to prevent icy conditions? Perhaps. Do people forget winter driving safety and that bridges and overpasses are the most likely place to find black ice? I think that is the bigger culprit. Not that speeding on that bridge could be a contributing factor.

Tom Casady said...

6:57 -

Yeah, it normally stinks. What's the link to your blog?

10:08 -

Yes, many of our officers have been honored by MADD over the years.

12:25 -

Yes, they forget it. Elevated roadways are always problematic. Some people don't forget it, they never thought about it in the first place. I've seen quite a bit of idiotic driving in this winter, how about you? Here's the one that always slay me: the yahoos in 4WD vehicles who don't seem to realize that although they can get better traction, as soon as all four wheels are locked up their Avalanchasuarus is just another sled.

Anonymous said...

Why is alcohol such a necessity to a society? I was lucky to have parents who didn't smoke or drink peer pressure is the problem. Society wants a party and they'll find one. I think history proves drunkeness will be around when we're all long gone. I suggest breathalizers at the bars, you could stop every drunken driver before the act and your stats would go through the roof.

Even though some drunks are very hilarious like on TV COPS. Thanks for taking a few off the road.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on such a great number.

I would think that a police department would be proud of less arrests an violations of law, instead of celebrating setting new records on high crime rates in their city. You think that would be shameful and negative to the job and the department as a whole since they should be trying to prevent such crimes from happening in the first place.

So again...Congrats on ticketing a record number of people, but shame on you for not helping the crime rate decline.

All I got from this post is that LPD is unable to control crime and the Chief brags about this on his blog. I am usually a supporter of LPD and never say anything negative on my comments or in public but this just seems unacceptable.

I think it would be better to show the people of Lincoln that you proved their prediction false by not setting a record number, and I don't mean get lazy and not ticket to achieve that, but instead their is numerous prevention, education, etc.. options to help reduce the rate that LPD could be doing.

"there is nothing a police officer does that has a more immediate and direct effect upon public safety than arrest a drunk driver" true but what about education?

These crimes will never go away unless you start working to solve the problem of why people are drunk driving in the first place. It is not that hard to figure out, and there is numerous ways that could immediately impact the number and help reduce it.

To help you out, ponder this question for a whole day and maybe you will come up with an answer, I know thinking about it for just 10 minutes and I have lists of ways to help out the city.

Why do people drive drunk?

Hopefully next year at this time I will see a blog post with the title "Record low crime rates"

Anonymous said...

To 12:57
"Why do people drive drunk?"

I suppose that this would be best answered by the drunk drivers themselves. Here's some of the answers that I have received over the years:

"I was the most sober of my group."
"I'm sort of the designated driver."
"I was just a few blocks from home'."
"I didn't think that I was that drunk."
"I have to be at work in the morning."
"I was just going home."
"My girlfriend kicked me out of our house and I was looking for a motel."
"I'm not that drunk."
"I'm not drunk."

But by far the most common answer I receive is:

"I knew I shouldn't have been driving. I just wasn't thinking."

I would guess that you are suggesting an increase in education to prevent more drunk drivers. I am all for it. The only problem is that we are going to have to educate them to "Think" while alcohol is working hard to get them to stop thinking. The drunk drivers almost always agree that they knew they should not drive but they still decided to drive anyway. Many of these non-thinkers were repeat offenders. One would hope that their last court date would have been education enough. Unfortunately, some people just don't learn and many times people just don't think.

So for the time being I'll be watching, waiting for them to weave, swerve, or just generally drive poorly, pulling them over, and arresting them when they meet the criteria. Who knows, maybe when they retell the story to their friends it may educate the friends.

Happy hunting.

Anonymous said...

January 5, 2010 12:57 PM????

Wow, this guy is anti crime, and he says DWI is not crime?
Which applicant is it that did not pass the test?
Or is it some other force in the "foil hat" world that has taken over.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully next year at this time I will see a blog post with the title "Record low crime rates"

BZZZT! Thanks for playing, please insert another quarter. Look through past past topics; he's already been there and done that, at least once per year.

Anonymous said...

I've seen people drive over curbs, use multiple lanes to go straight, hit the median, hit mailboxes, and do all kinds of fun stuff. When stopped, the number one response is "Why are you stopping me?" sometimes followed by "Don't you have anything better to do?"

Alcohol impairs judgement first and motor skills next. That's why they drive.They CAN'T think.

Number of arrests for a violation should not be confused with crime statistics. Over the years, the number of drunk drivers, because of education, may have actually gone down. The fact that arrests are up may mean LPD has become better and more efficient at stopping a higher percentage of the violators.


Anonymous said...

Whoa Chief, idiots are driving cars too so before the SUV bashing gets into full swing I would like to remind drivers of smaller cars that 4WD does not mean 4WD STOP. Don't pull out in front of us. Several of us who own 4WD vehicles have stopped to help dig/push others out or share rides to work or home-- so not all of us are idiotic or jerks.

Steve said...

It's not the job of the police to find ways to stop drunk drivers before they hit the road. However, they are probably doing some good in regards to prevention by stepping up enforcement and publicizing it. It's not bragging; it's LPD's way of trying to create a deterrent (about the only method they have). Good job to all those who made arrests and to the chief for letting everyone know about it.

Now, if we could just get prosecutors and judges to stop letting people get away with it over and over, the number of arrests might actually go down; not because LPD slacked off on enforcement, but because there were fewer people driving drunk.

Anonymous said...

How about under the influence by prescription drugs. I watch too much TV, too many commercials.

Anonymous said...

1257, what are some of your ideas that YOU thought of in 10 minutes?

If I were a betting man, I'd bet most of them have been done, are unrealistic.

Anonymous said...


Life is tough, it's even tougher when you're stupid.