Written by Trista Steers MacVittie
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 13:28
People who drink and drive during the holidays will be caught by the Cottonwood Police Department.
This weekend is the last of three weekends in December CPD conducts a DUI Task Force to get drunk drivers off the road.
During the first task force the first weekend of the month, police officers arrested approximately four motorists for drinking and driving, according to CPD Police Chief Jody Fanning.
“The task force gives the ability for us to target specific situations,” Fanning said. Patrol officers always look for DUIs, but they have other matters to attend to as well such as burglary patrol and domestic violence situations.
Officers on the task force, however, have one mission.
CPD will also conduct Underage Task Forces where minors are sent into businesses to attempt to purchase alcohol. Those who sell to minors will be cited, Fanning said.
Officers will also watch for minors who try to persuade adults outside grocery and convenience stores to purchase alcohol for them.
Funding for task forces comes from grants provided by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission and Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
Grant money is used to pay overtime to officers participating in the task force, according to Fanning, which allows CPD to keep the same number of officers on patrol during the task force operation.
Cottonwood City Council recently accepted funding at its Dec. 16 meeting for money to purchase a $55,000 Mobile DUI Enforcement Trailer to be used during future task force patrols.
CPD will not conduct a DUI Task Force on New Year’s Eve, however, Fanning said.
Cottonwood isn’t a New Year’s Eve destination, and many people leave town for the holiday, according to Fanning. Those who stick around normally don’t drink and drive because they know officers are looking for drunk drivers.
CPD will have additional officers on patrol instead.
Drunk drivers kill many people, Fanning said, and he encourages Cottonwood residents to be safe this holiday season.
Trista Steers can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 124, or e-mail