The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service averaged more than one drunken driving arrest per day during the first two weeks of its holiday traffic safety campaign.
According to police, “intensified” road safety operations since Dec. 7 have led to 17 DUI arrests as of Thursday.
In addition, 35 traffic tickets were issued by officers at traffic checkpoints and on routine patrols during the period.
RCIPS Inspector Ian Yearwood said routine roadblocks appeared to be having some effect in lessening the number of traffic-related arrests.
“Officers at road checks have observed more vehicles driven by designated drivers,” Mr. Yearwood said. “Inebriated people may be in the car, but fewer of them are behind the wheels.”
In addition to the traffic incidents, the road checkpoints have led to four drug-related arrests since Dec. 7.
In one incident on Dec. 15, a driver failed to stop at a roadblock on Shamrock Road and was tracked down by police to a nearby address where the driver was arrested on suspicion of drug possession.
The traffic enforcement effort will continue through the first week of the new year, police said.
The RCIPS Traffic Management Unit has done some form of holiday traffic crackdown every year for at least the past decade, but this year they are being joined by 15 volunteers from the Special Constables Unit who have been trained in traffic enforcement techniques.
Newly appointed traffic unit Inspector Ian Yearwood said the public will generally notice more roadblocks and other high-visibility interdiction efforts during the next few weeks.
The traffic unit has been depleted over the past several years as officers have been diverted to other crime-fighting areas deemed to be more crucial at the time.
Police Superintendent Robert Graham said this week that police would look to add more staff to the unit in the coming months, but until that happens, Special Constables Commandant Chris Duggan said the special constables can help “make up the numbers.”
“Specials are normally used as crowd control at events or other administrative duties, but they have all the powers of a paid RCIPS constable and can be used for things like traffic enforcement while the regulars are out enforcing more serious crime,” he said.
Special constables will not investigate scenes of fatal or serious injury collisions. Those incidents are left to the traffic unit and accident reconstruction experts.