Rapid City Police arrest 16 for drunk driving, prepare for holid - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City Police arrest 16 for drunk driving, prepare for holidays

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Rapid City Police arrested 16 drivers over the weekend for driving under the influence.

That's more than the weekend average of about 10 arrests, but officers say they weren't specifically targeting drunk drivers.

Two of the arrests were made within 25 minutes of one another at the intersection of East Boulevard and Saint Joseph Street.

And fully half of them took place within a 2.5-mile stretch between that intersection and Sheridan Lake Road.

Five of the remaining eight drunk drivers were stopped within about two miles of downtown.
 
"Just worked out that way," said RCPD Lt. Don Hedrick.
 
He said they didn't specifically target any areas over the weekend.
 
"It's tough to attribute that to one specific thing," Hedrick said. "Whether it was just our officers having the time to do some DUI enforcement or whether it was just a couple more people decided to drive home when they shouldn't have."
 
There are also officers designated to focus on DUIs; even more so on weekends and "where people are out partying, drinking, going to be on the roads," said officer Eric Dwyer.
 
We spent some time riding around with Dwyer Monday. He didn't have many actual calls, so he could spend more time watching drivers.
 
"We try to plan for times where we think we're going to need more officers to keep the city safe," he said, adding safety's the key.

Officers aren't looking for drunk drivers in particular, but rather unsafe drivers.
 
"If alcohol is involved, the driving skill is way lower," Dwyer said. "Everything about impairment is going to affect your ability to drive the car safely."
 
So it's not any single thing officers will look for in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

But they will be looking.
 
"We will have extra officers on," said Hedrick, "and they will be enforcing DUI."

As far as checkpoints go, Hedrick told us they didn't have any set up over the weekend, and there aren't any plans right now to set them up for the holiday.
 
He also said to avoid having to make a tough decision about whether or not to drive this holiday season, be sure to set up a plan beforehand that includes a designated driver.

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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

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