CRESTVIEW — No DUI-related deaths occurred over the New Year's holiday and Crestview Police and the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Department reported single digits for driving under the influence arrests.


CRESTVIEW — No DUI-related deaths occurred over the New Year's holiday and Crestview Police and the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Department reported single digits for driving under the influence arrests.



"We only had one (DUI) on New Year's Day," Lt. Andrew Schneider of the Crestview PD said. "It’s about average; we typically get around one to five (DUI) incidents during New Year’s."



Area residents are aware of police presence during New Year's Eve, Schneider said.



"Also, local taxi and cab companies have campaigns that help commuters get home safely," he said.



 Sgt. Mark Raiche, an Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office traffic unit supervisor, said he noticed slightly more DUI arrests this year.



"We had around four this year, one of which was in Crestview," Raiche said. "The reason we had a higher number this year is because we had more units focused on the road ways.”



Last year, several patrollers responded to fight reports, which took some of the focus off roadways, he said.



"We put a high priority on DUI incidents," Raiche said. "On New Year's Eve we put a particular focus on Destin and Okaloosa Island because that is where a number of people travel to in order to celebrate New Year's."



He attributed the low number of incidents to the OSCO’s support of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.



"There was a lot of media awareness with this," Raiche said, also crediting private programs.



"I know some attorneys would have a program where they would pay for taxi ride home," Raiche said. 



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or matthewb@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.