Tough on DUI’s

A friend told me about a recent conversation with another, who said: “Don’t vote for Dolan, he’s going to be tough on DUI’s.” I guess it was a topic of bar conversation.

Of course I will be. I already am. I have two cases pending right now, in the criminal justice system. When called, I’ll gladly testify about my traffic stops and the subsequent DUI arrests I made.

I’m not anti-bar, or even anti-drinking. But I’m definitely against driving under the influence.

When someone gets behind the wheel like that, they put everyone else at risk, including themselves. So I make a point to watch for DUI’s when I’m on patrol. When I see them, I stop them.

Just about every shift, I’ll hear a “10-55 Make your own case” call, where someone has called in a DUI. It’s typically “heading _____bound, swerving all over the road, into oncoming traffic…”.

A recent one went all the way from Marshall to Paris. The vehicle was finally located and stopped about a block before the individual got home.

But many people make it home before we can get there. Especially if the call was delayed. In this case, a citizen followed behind, and continued to update 911, so the officers were able to zero in on it.

When I went through field sobriety certification, we learned the average DUI offender has done it more than 600 times. I remember thinking, “No way.”

Now, I believe it. Some people just slip through the net. Others just keep on doing it. I’ve arrested more than a few people for driving DUI, on a revoked license for…(surprise), a prior DUI.

There used to be an awareness campaign that said “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” It’s still true.

I remember years ago, one local tavern created a shuttle service. I’ve seen others utilize taxi services. Now we have Uber, Lift, and other options.

I like the effort made every other year to educate the kids before prom. They stage a scene, with actors, and an actual wrecked vehicle.

They have EMS and Police respond, and even the coroner. It’s a sobering experience that makes the point strongly. But we should do it every year.

We need to continue educating our kids about making better choices. We need to keep making the point, and making it strongly. Their lives depend on it.

If someone happens to get caught for DUI, please don’t get mad at us. We’re doing our jobs.

At least they can’t hurt themselves or someone else that night. Hopefully, it will be a wake up call for them, too.

So yes, that guy was right. I will be “tough on DUI’s.” I already am. It’s too important not to be.


Tom Dolan

2018 Candidate for Edgar County Sheriff

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