The Dayton Police Department wrote 170 citations and levied 68 charges over a nearly two-week recently as part of the Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s “Booze It and Lose It” campaign.
Dayton Police Department Traffic Sgt. Eric Ewton said that the department was awarded a $10,000 grant and used a portion of those funds for the campaign and was able to pay for overtime for officers from Aug. 16 to Sept. 3.
“The grant pays for us to get more officers out at night and on the weekend,” Ewton said. “Their sole job during this period was to enforce traffic laws.”
Ewton said that seven officers offered to work overtime during the campaign and worked a shift beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at 2 a.m.
“Any officer could come out and work that shift, and we had guys out nearly every night,” Ewton said, adding that 149 overtime hours were worked during the nearly two-week time period.
According to statistics provided by the Dayton Police Department, during the “Booze It and Lose It” campaign, the department issued 50 citations for speeding, 19 for seatbelt violations, 17 for failure to stop at a red light or stop sign and 23 for not having vehicle insurance.
Ewton said that 40 people were arrested, with a total of 68 criminal charges alleged, including six for driving under the influence of an intoxicant [DUI] , 12 for public intoxication, 12 for driving on a revoked or suspended license, three for drug possession and six for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Throughout all of 2018, Ewton said the department made 36 DUI arrests, and so far in 2019, the department has made the same number of DUI arrests.
“September will probably push us to 40 DUI arrests,” Ewton said. “That’s something we’re focusing on. We’re out there more, watching for drivers who might be intoxicated. We like people to know we’re doing our best to keep roadways safe.”
Additionally, Ewton said the department has so far issued 20 citations to drivers who allegedly failed to comply with the state’s new hands-free cell phone law.
Specifically, the law states that a driver may not hold a cell phone or mobile device with any part of the body; write, send or read any text-based communication; reach for a cell phone or mobile device in a manner that requires the driver to no longer be in a seated position or properly restrained by a seat belt; watch a video or movie on a cell phone or mobile device; or record or broadcast video on a cell phone mobile device.