Chattanooga DUI Enforcement keeping our roads safe - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga DUI Enforcement keeping our roads safe

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Chattanooga Police say all too often they stop people who have been drinking and driving. That's why the department says it has a full time DUI division, patrolling the streets to keep you safe.

Channel 3 rode along with a DUI enforcement officer on a Friday night.

Officers are not only looking for people who may be drinking and driving, they're out to make sure drivers are following all the rules of the road. "We just try to be really aggressive in making traffic enforcement stops," says Officer Casey Cleveland.

Cleveland has been with the Chattanooga Police Department for the past seven years and part of the DUI division for the past year. He spends his nights constantly scanning the road.

"I just try to focus on any traffic violations that are going on, whether it be a registration violation or they could be failing to maintain a lane."

At one point, he pulls behind a car that was crossing over the white line, a sign the driver could be drunk behind the wheel. Cleveland pulls him over. After a few questions, he finds he isn't intoxicated and lets him off with a warning.

"I get job satisfaction out of making the streets safer for the citizens of Chattanooga and any of the motorists that are coming through Chattanooga," he says.

Cleveland made several other stops throughout the night, saying sometimes simple things like a driver driving too slowly is a clue they've been drinking. Most of the stops involved expired plates, switched tags or driving without insurance.

A little before midnight he responded to an accident on Shallowford Road. There were no serious injuries. Cleveland also kept busy backing up fellow officers on other calls.

At another point, a man was given a field sobriety test on the suspicion he had been drinking. He was cleared. But Cleveland says it's better to be safe than sorry.

"If I can stop someone that has been drinking and driving, is over the legal limit, I feel that I've protected not just everyone else's family, but I think about it in terms of protecting my own family," he says.

Cleveland says later in the morning, around 3 o'clock he busted a driver for DUI.

If losing your life isn't reason enough to not drink and drive, how about the cost? Between court costs and attorney's fees, a first-time DUI offense can cost you between five and $10,000.

And you can do your part to avoid drunk drivers. Researchers say it's best to stay off the road between 10 at night and two in the morning because an estimated one in 10 drivers on the road is driving while intoxicated.

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