One driver got arrested a day before the DUI pin ceremony. He was driving on the wrong side of the road and had no clue, Fullerton PD Corp. Eric Bridges said.
Another motorist suspected of driving under the influence was brutally honest when, during an arrest in 2015, Corp. Ryan Warner asked her what she was under the influence of.
“Three margaritas,” the woman answered.
Drunk driving is no laughing matter — each year, nearly 10,000 people are killed in alcohol-related crashes in the U.S.
On Tuesday, April 5, 10 FPD officers were recognized by the City Council for each making at least 25 DUI arrests last year.
Lt. Mike Chlebowski, who runs the FPD’s traffic bureau, presented the DUI pins on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
“These pins are special and should be taken seriously,” Chlebowski said. “I believe that each DUI arrest made is a traffic accident prevented and possibly an innocent life saved.”
Collectively, the 10 officers honored Tuesday made 330 arrests for drunken and drugged driving in 2015 — 44 percent of the total 744 DUI arrests FPD officers made last year.
That total of 744 represented a 200 percent reduction in DUI arrests from 2014, Chlebowski noted — a sign, he said, that all the hard work and effort of the FPD officers is paying off.
Officer Eric Bridges received his eighth straight DUI pin for 25 arrests or more.
Bridges says he has no doubt some of the arrests prevented a tragedy.
In addition to a DUI pin they wear on their uniforms, the FPD officers received a certificate from MADD and the County of Orange.
FPD officers recognized Tuesday (with their number of DUI arrests in 2015) were:
Officer Scott Flynn, 61
Corporal Ryan Warner, 35
Officer Michael Halverson, 35
Officer Denny Bak, 33
Corporal Kyle Baas, 31
Corporal Eric Bridges, 28
Officer Timothy Gibert, 28
Officer Jonathan Munoz, 27
Officer Nicholas Dempkowski, 26
Officer Joshua Manes, 26