FMPD's new tool to crackdown on drunk drivers
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - It's sleek, stealthy, and it's the Fort Myers Police Department's newest tool to crack down on drunk drivers.
"The biggest advantage of this is that the vehicle has an intoxilyzer in it," said Capt. James Mulligan, FMPD.
Capt. Mulligan is referring to what is commonly known as a 'breathalyzer' device, that allows police to check and monitor blood alcohol content on the spot. Having this technology inside unmarked police cruisers will speed up the booking process - and crack down on more drunk drivers.
"This vehicle allows for faster processing of the impaired driver, this way the officer can get back out there," said Pete Cohen, FDOT.
Now police will be able to measure the driver's blood alcohol content, administer the required 20-minute observation period, and book the driver on the spot; if the driver's BAC is above the legal limit.
"We are saving hopefully and hour - close to an hour and a half by doing the booking process and everything there in the field," said Capt. Mulligan.
So far in 2013, there have been 7 DUI related deaths in Lee County.
In a 2012 report, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 9,592 DUI related arrest for the year. That is an increase from 2011 numbers by nearly 500 arrests.
Police hope the new cruiser will help continue that trend.
"Folks knowing that there is now an unmarked vehicle out there, may get them thinking twice about driving impaired," said Pete Cohen.
The new police cruiser will not cost Ft. Myers' residents any additional money. The $54,000 vehicle was paid for completely by a state grant from FDOT. This makes FMPD the second police force in the state to get the new high-tech tool.