To curb the incidence of DUIs, the Atlanta Police Department established a task force of officers specially trained to spot and stop DUI offenders. This task force has been recently reassigned.
The Atlanta Police Department recently released a statement:
We have assigned the DUI taskforce trained officers to other zones so that DUI enforcement will provide the most impact for each geographical area. These officers possess a level of expertise that will reach a wider audience if they are working alongside zone personnel. We expect that this concentrated effort will result in an increase in DUI detection and apprehension.”
Atlanta police cited budgetary concerns as the reason for this change. A lower number of DUIs, however, might have also factored into their decision. In 2013, there were 736 DUIs. In 2014, however, there were just 602.
As a result, Atlanta police will move officers on the DUI task force around the city in different zones. All staff will be trained on DUI procedure.
Those who have had family members or other loved ones die at the hands of drunk drivers are reacting very negatively to this latest announcement. They believe that the best way to stop drunk drivers is to have many uniformed police out patrolling to deter that behavior. By putting DUI task force members on other duties, they are pulled out of places that they are needed. Opponents also believe that, by making this move, officers will not be completely focused on catching drunk drivers. They believe that many more innocent people might die just to see if this experimental restructuring worked.
As of January 22, 2015, there were only 18 DUIs. The Atlanta Police Department did not give an indication about how many of these arrests were attributed to the DUI task force.