Atlanta Police Want To Catch More Drunk Drivers | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlanta Police Want To Catch More Drunk Drivers

Jan 22, 2015

Atlanta Police Department officials say they want to increase their DUI detection and apprehension rate in 2015 by restructuring its DUI task force.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta Police Department says it wants to get more drunk drivers off the road with more training. It’s also looking at restructuring the department’s DUI task force.

There are only six officers in the APD’s DUI Task force. They’re trained to detect and deal with drunk and impaired drivers.

Now the Police Department wants to assign DUI officers to each of the city’s six police zones. The idea is that the DUI officers will train other cops in the traffic unit precincts on how to better identify drivers who are under the influence. 

"This expands our reach to be able to enforce DUI cases all over the city in an epic way," says Deputy Chief C.J. Davis. 

APD Deputy Chief C.J. Davis says these changes will allow the APD to expand their DUI coverage.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WABE

But the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving says they feel the DUI task force is being dismantled. State executive director Barry Martin says spreading out officers will make them less visible and prevent them from catching DUI offenders.  

“You’ve taken a unit of officers who have gone through great lengths to learn their specialty and you’ve disbanded them and pushed them out into other zones,” Martin says.  

In a statement, an Atlanta Police Department spokesman wrote that right now, these officers are often stretched too thin: 

"We feel that only six officers, working traffic and making some DUI arrests, is not an adequate number of trained officers as they are frequently pulled for other special operations details. We would like to see our DUI detection and apprehension rate to increase in 2015." 

APD says the DUI task force officers will be assigned to their zones by the end of February.