Madera PD uses social media to deter DUIs

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Madera police made more than 200 DUI arrests in 2017 alone. (KFSN)

Madera police made more than 200 DUI arrests in 2017 alone.

They say by posting dash cam videos and arrest photos, they can deter people from driving under the influence and hopefully, save a life. Madera police are using social media to deter one of their most common crimes.

They see hundreds of DUIs a year in the city and they are hoping to lower those numbers by posting videos like these online.

Sgt. Thomas Burns of the Madera Police Department said, "If we have a good video that shows the danger, and shows someone's level of impairment it's those type of things we want to put out to social media to educate the public."

Sgt. Burns is in charge of the department's traffic division and says the push to stop DUI's came when they were seeing a high amount of car crashes.

Since then, they started posting videos shows drivers swerving, taking sobriety tests, and even being arrested in an attempt to avoid any more accidents.

"We want to be transparent, as well as that we want to educate people as to what a DUI looks like. So, if you see a DUI call 911. This is what we want you to look for."

In 2015, the state office of traffic safety reported 271 fatal or injury involved collisions in Madera, 40 of those involving alcohol.

While some agree drunk drivers need to be taken off the street, some say posting videos online and exposing the drivers is not the answer.

Madera resident, Wayne Miller said, "I'm a recovering alcoholic, and I've been pulled over many time and I've had more than one DUI. The embarrassment of a police officer pulling you over will not stop you from drinking."

Carol Doyle, from Madera, said, "They need to take into consideration the families because families are hurt and affected and they are embarrassed."

While it has not lowered DUI numbers, officers say they are seeing more people using designated drivers.

Burns says they are constantly patrolling for DUI's, and hope to put more officers on the street as they continue to increase their department staff.

They are also keeping an eye out for drivers driving under the influence of marijuana. They increased their DUI patrol back in September prior to it becoming legal in January.
Related Topics:
DUIdriverpoliceMadera County
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