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Las Vegas DUI patrol makes 1,000 arrests within year

Updated October 24, 2019 - 7:51 pm

Less than a year after its first patrol, the DUI Strike Team reached 1,000 DUI-related arrests.

The team is made up of five Metropolitan Police Department officers, three Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and one Metro sergeant who patrol four days a week. Their days and hours vary in an effort to remain inconspicuous, according to Metro Capt. Jason Letkiewicz.

“Sometimes they’re in an old patrol car, sometimes they’re on a motorcycle, sometimes they’re in an unmarked car,” he said Thursday. “They could come at you from a whole lot of different angles.”

And the approach seems to have worked: Letkiewicz said the team made its thousandth arrest on Oct. 3, a milestone he said shows how DUI-related fatalities have decreased dramatically since last year.

“Forty-eight percent of the traffic fatalities in our jurisdiction are DUI-related, or some sort of impairment-related,” Letkiewicz said. “Right now it’s down to 22 percent, so you’re talking about a 26 percent decrease in the number of DUI-related fatalities.”

Letkiewicz said his goal is to grow the program and add a second team.

Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Daniel Solow said he wants to instead aim for zero arrests.

“I would like to see us be able to disband this team some day because we can’t find any DUIs,” Solow said. “When it comes down to it, we want people to have a plan before they go out so everyone can stay safe.”

Contact Alexis Egeland at aegeland@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexis_egeland on Twitter.

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