Police blitzing town for violations

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 27, 2002

This year’s holiday message from the Selma Police Department: don’t drink and drive.

According to Lt. David Evans, the police plan to drive that message home with this year’s holiday blitz. A holiday blitz, Evans explained, is made up of several traffic details patrolling for traffic violations.

One driver learned about the blitz Thursday night when Evans pulled her over in the parking lot of the Selma Mall. He said that she had been driving too fast down one of the aisles, and didn’t even slow down when she made a right turn.

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Evans said that because the mall is private property she was lucky. The only punishments she could have received, Evans said, were a citation for reckless driving or a DUI.

Evans said that an emphasis is put on DUI’s, or driving under the influence, during the holiday blitz.

Most DUI arrests, Evans said, occur when people are stopped for minor traffic violations. However, he added, sometimes someone is driving so erratically that it’s obvious they are under the influence.

As Evans watched Highland Avenue, a loud, white truck sped by. He pointed out that it was going too fast and had a headlight missing. That missing headlight, Evans said, would be enough to stop the truck and check the driver for DUI.

Evans said that officers on holiday blitz detail try not to stay in one location, but instead patrol all around their area looking for traffic violations.

The blitz began on Dec. 21, but Evans said that efforts will concentrate around the start of the new year.

The blitz will finish on Jan. 4, Evans added.

All officers taking part in the blitz, Evans said, are working on their off time. This is because the blitz is part of a grant awarded to the city for traffic enforcement.

The approximate $40,000 grant is awarded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, but the money comes from the federal government, Evans said. The grant enables local agencies to pay off time officers time and a half to take part in the blitz.

Evans said that his advice to people would be not to drink and drive. He also said that if you see a police car with its blue lights on then you should yield to them by pulling over to the right hand side of the road.