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2:25 PM Sat, Feb. 16th

Joint DUI task force hits the street

KINGMAN ­ Kingman Police Department and the Mohave County Sheriff's Office are pooling their efforts to keep drunken and drug-impaired drivers off of area streets and roads next weekend.

"The Aug. 20 weekend saturation patrol will be almost identical to the DUI task force we were part of over the July 4 long weekend," said KPD Cpl. Dan Spivey. "This time, it's the KPD and the MCSO."

He said the Department of Public Safety will not be joining the effort this time around because of a scheduling conflict.

The goal is to locate and apprehend drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and joint task force efforts have proven successful in the past. The July 4 weekend saturation patrol netted 125 citations during 190 traffic stops for various offenses in the Kingman and Golden Valley area. Of those, 13 were for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and two of them were aggravated DUIs for blood alcohol contents of 0.15 or higher. Another six resulted in warrant arrests, and about two dozen were for seat-belt violations.

KPD also is hosting advanced officer training in DUI investigations Aug. 24-26 for law enforcement officials from the KPD, MCSO and DPS, as well as the Hualapai and Fort Mohave tribal police.

Spivey said one example of the training the officers will receive is in how to recognize possible DUI cases by observing horizontal gaze nystagmus, more commonly referred to as HGN.

"Horizontal gaze nystagmus is an involuntary jerking of the eyeball that happens all the time," Spivey said. "It's normally so rapid it isn't noticeable to the naked eye. But, alcohol and certain drugs slow down the bounce of the eyeball, as it's called, so that it is noticeable to the naked eye. That happens at about 0.06 to 0.08 (blood alcohol content) levels. It's another tool officers have at their disposal, in addition to the more traditional DUI testing and detection methods."