February 21, 2024

The Pizen Switch Times

Established 2021

Sheriff Brad Pope’s Message of the Week 08/25/2023

Message of the Week 08/25/2023

It’s just a DUI…

For the past three weeks the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office has been sharing mugshots of those booked into the Lyon County Jail for the previous week. The vast majority of the community are in full support of the public information sharing, however there is an extremely small group of people not happy with the postings. This was fully anticipated. What I want to write about is a specific complaint that I have read several times regarding the posts, I’ll paraphrase the gist of the complaint, “They just got arrested for DUI, I can’t believe you’re sharing their photo and trying to ruin their lives.” (Posting DUI Driving Under the Influence and FTA Failure to Appear on traffic warrants seems to generate the most complaints.)

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office regards driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription drugs as a serious crime. When a person makes a conscious choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired, they become an extreme risk to this community. The DUI driver puts every other person on the roadway at risk of losing their lives.

In the same period from last year the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office DUI arrests are up 25%.

There is no moral, or legal argument to take down the mugshot of a person arrested for DUI. The argument of “innocent until proven guilty” is a court standard, and conviction standard. If a person is arrested for DUI, probable cause exists that the person arrested committed the crime. In the case of DUI, probable cause is established through signs of impairment. Impairment is determined by a series of tests, and detection methods.

Per NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):

  • 31% of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher). In 2021, there were 13,384 people killed in these preventable crashes.
  • 56% of drivers involved in fatal crashes, tested positive for at least one drug.

BEING A RESPONSIBLE DRIVER IS SIMPLE: IF YOU ARE DRINKING, DO NOT DRIVE.

  • Plan your safe ride home before you start the party, choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver.
  • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home.
  • If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, a ride-hailing service, or a sober friend.
  • If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  • Always wear your seat belt — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life.
  • Please see the attached chart regarding alcohol effects on the body.

The Sheriff’s traffic Enforcement Team is in its infant stages. A Sergeant has been assigned to begin traffic operations, and handle complaints in the community. I will keep the community updated on its progress.

Respectfully,

Sheriff Brad Pope