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Saturated patrols stop 26 motorists
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McMinnville officers on saturated patrols stopped 26 motorists over the New Year’s holiday and charged one with drunk driving during a time which saw no serious accidents inside the city limits.
“It’s not about the numbers,” said McMinnville Police Lt. Mark Mara regarding the saturated patrols around the city. “It’s about making the streets safer and I think we did that.”
The saturated patrols involved 11 officers dedicated entirely to looking for drunk drivers. The officers logged a combined 50 overtime hours during the course of the holiday.
“The odds are against you if you get behind the wheel after drinking during a time there’s a saturated patrol,” Mara said. “You have officers whose main job is to actively look for drunk drivers while the other officers do their normal patrol duties and answer calls. The chances are you’re going to get caught if you are driving under the influence during one of our saturations.”
The saturation patrols come at the end of a year that saw fatalities rise across the state. There were 1,016 people killed on Tennessee highways in 2012, according to the Department of Safety. There were 14 of those on Warren County roads.
Saturation patrols are held during times which surveys have shown are peak times for drunk drivers. The times include holidays like New Year, the Fourth of July, and Memorial Day, as well as times for special events like Super Bowl Sunday.
As for the saturated patrol, Mara said officers arrested one for DUI and one for possession of drugs. There were also eight citations for speeding and three warnings issued. Mara pointed out patrol officers who were not part of the saturation were also making stops and issuing citations not included on his report.