Fewer dollars for law enforcement means fewer drunk driving arrests in Madison County. In 2006, when Richmond police were working with a $70,000 federal grant, officers made 409 DUI arrests. The tally so far this fiscal year, with only $29,000 available, is 169 arrests. Major Bob Mott says it’s a simple matter of economics. “When you have a 70 officer base and you lose 15 officers, that’s a significant amount, and obviously when you lose a significant of folks trying to enforce and look for DUI’s, it’s going to have a toll on your numbers, and that’s what we’re seeing”, said Mott.
Mott has no evidence to back him up but speculates tougher D-U-I enforcement in recent years has helped curb drunk driving in Madison County today.
“I can’t swear to this, we would think that people are becoming more attuned that we are looking for DUI’s, we are actively enforcing them, we’re going after them, and now that we don’t have that money to where you can do those extra patrols, you can do the road checks and such, and the loss of manpower, obviously the numbers for enforcement aren’t nearly what they were”, said Mott.
Whatever the budget, Major Bob Mott says the police mission is the same.
“Of course the guys that are workin’, they’re doing it, they’re looking’ for them just like usual, but the truth is when you restrict manpower by that big of a percentage, you’re gonna have a downturn in numbers, just because you know you’re not gonna have as many eyes on the road lookin’ for them,” said Mott.
203 Kentuckians were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2009.