Palm Beach County, FL – With alcohol flowing freely in bars and homes across the nation tonight, police are expecting a high number of DUI arrests.
As cops are likely to be spread thinly, police in Palm Beach County, Florida are enlisting residents in the battle against drink driving. As well as law enforcement officers scanning the roads in the area, members of the public can be awarded for reporting drunk drivers.
The “Mobile Eyes” program is run by the Safety Council of Palm Beach County and offers $100 to people who report a drunken driver who is then is arrested. Since the scheme was introduced in 2001, hundreds of $100 bounties have been handed out at an average of 30 to 40 per year.
2012 has proven slightly less successful, with Mobile Eyes having handed out only 17 rewards in the last 12 months. Concerned officials suspect people may have forgotten the money offer, and a fresh round of promotion has now begun. Donna Bryan, spokeswoman for the safety council, told the Sun Sentinel:
“We thought the holidays was a great time to remind people. Just getting one (drunken driver) off the road is a good thing.”
Alternatively, it could just be that the program is proving effective in deterring would-be drink drivers: Since 2009, alcohol-related traffic deaths have dipped in Palm Beach County from 62 deaths in 2009 to just 47 in 2011.
Under the Mobile Eyes program, if a resident identifies someone they feel may be an impaired driver, they can call 911 for an officer to be dispatched. Should their tip lead to an arrest, cops complete a special Mobile Eyes report that is sent on to the safety council, who in turn pay out a $100 prize.
Whatever you good folks are doing for this New Year’s Eve, have a great time and remember: Drunk driving is for jerks. In the spirit of that sentiment, here’s a favorite anti-DUI ad from this writer’s adopted homeland of New Zealand. Here’s to a great 2013, everybody:
[Image via Shutterstock]