Arundel police plan airborne DWI patrol

April 25, 1993|By Staff report

The Anne Arundel County Police Department is taking to the skies to spot motorists high on alcohol or drugs.

Called the D.W.I. Initiative, the program involves police in helicopters and cars who will work together. Officers will patrol county roads in a helicopter, searching for offenders. When found, they'll relay descriptions to police waiting in patrol cars.

"The program's purpose is to reduce as much as possible the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents," county police spokeswoman Officer Terry Robey said.

On Friday, county police kicked off the program at Lee Airport in Edgewater, where the helicopter, called Air-1, is based. Police are targeting areas where alcohol- and drug-related accidents are common. They will patrol those areas mostly at night on specific days. Program leader Sgt. Henry McClung of the Traffic Safety Department chose the areas based on accident reports and arrest experience. Those areas will not be announced publicly.

The officers in the helicopter have been trained to spot DWI offenders.

"They'll be looking for motorists driving at excessive speeds, slow drivers who are impeding traffic or those driving erratically," Officer Robey said. "They'll patrol after rush hour, when there's less traffic and it's easier to spot offenders."

The program will run through Oct. 1.

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