San Luis Obispo Police’s New Position: DUI Enforcement Officer


The San Luis Obispo Police Department has created a position whose duty it is to address the city’s DUI problem.

According to a 2010 survey conducted by the California Office of Traffic Safety, the California college town is ranked 18 out of 93 California cities with a population of 25,001 to 50,000 residents for alcohol-involved collisions.

The California Office of Traffic Safety is funding the position for one year. Should the position prove to be effective, there is the potential that funding may be renewed in the future.

The position has been entrusted to Officer Tim Koznek. Officer Koznek will work from Wednesday to Saturday night. Statistically, this time frame is when most of San Luis Obispo’s DUI related incidents occur.

San Luis Obispo police Captain Chris Staley told The Tribune that officers will always pull over a driver who exhibits clear signs of drunk driving, but “if you see a minor vehicle violation on the way to another call, [the officer is] not going to stop.”

However, with the new position, there will be an officer readily available to focus on driving violations rather than responding to other non-driving related incidences.

While the position may be well intentioned, it makes me question any “objectivity” in determining drunk driving.

The predisposition to suspect drunk driving is evident even in Captain Staley’s own statement. While a person may be swerving on the road, there is no “clear signs” of drunk driving because officers have no other reason to suspect that a person was drinking.

On his first weekend as San Luis Obispo’s DUI officer, Koznek made six DUI arrests.

I wonder how many of DUI stops came from “clear signs” of drunk driving.

 

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