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Las Vegas police target impaired drivers in ‘DUI blitz’ — VIDEO

Updated March 15, 2019 - 10:35 am

People with the dangerous habit of driving impaired had a higher chance of being caught in the Las Vegas Valley on Thursday night.

About 100 Metropolitan Police Department and Nevada Highway Patrol officers were searching the valley for impaired drivers during a “DUI blitz” slated to last from about 5 p.m. Thursday to 3 a.m. Friday, police said.

Law enforcement officers made 31 arrests for impaired driving in that time, police Capt. Nick Farese said Friday.

When officers found a driver suspected of impairment who failed field sobriety tests, the driver was taken to Metro’s traffic area to go through the booking process before being transferred to the Clark County Detention Center, Stoddard said. Men and women in waist chains had Breathalyzer tests and blood drawn to determine if their blood alcohol level was over the legal limit.

Driver who were suspected of being under the influence of marijuana or illegal drugs would also qualify as a DUI.

“Las Vegas is a 24-hour town, so impaired drivers in Las Vegas is always a problem,” Stoddard said. “Thursday night, statistically, is one of the higher nights for impaired drivers.”

About 37 to 47 percent of all fatal collisions in the Las Vegas Valley involved an impaired driver, police said. Since 2019 started, fatal crash rates have increased in the valley, Stoddard said.

“Please don’t drink and drive; there’s a lot of solutions out there,” he said. “Especially tonight, your odds are definitely against you. If you’re impaired, you’re going to get caught tonight.”

Members of the DUI Task Force, made up of officers from Metro and the Highway Patrol, were also participating in the blitz, said Andrew Bennett, a spokesman for the state Office of Traffic Safety.

The office formed the multi-agency team, which now has five Metro officers and three highway patrol officers, to arrest impaired drivers on Wednesday through Saturday nights, with the goal of reducing traffic fatalities.

From Oct. 24, the team’s first night patrolling, to early Thursday morning, 449 people had been arrested by the team in the Las Vegas Valley on suspicion of impaired driving, Bennett said Thursday night.

Stoddard emphasized that drivers have many options to avoid driving impaired and being pulled over.

“Any night, please take a ride-share, take a taxi, call a friend, call a family member, but do not drink and drive,” he said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal writer Lukas Eggen contributed to this report.

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