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Over 200 traffic citations, six DUIs netted here in first days of national campaign

reporters@samoanews.com

On its fourth day of the National Campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” conducted by the Department of Public Safety, police officers so far have caught six civilians accused of operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.

The enforcement is under the leadership of Captain Ta’alolioufaiva John Cendrowski, who told Samoa News that as of 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon that the six individuals arrested and charged with driving under the influence and other traffic violations had all failed the field sobriety tests.

He also confirmed that among the six individuals was a pilot with Inter Island Airways who was arrested Saturday evening. According to police, Stanley Malae ran a stop sign, police responded and noticed that the driver had sustained an injury to his eye.

Malae failed his field sobriety tests and will make his initial appearance in the District Court today.

Captain Cendrowski noted police officers have issued more than 200 traffic citations over the past four days to members of the public who ran stop signs, were speeding, not wearing seat belts and other traffic violations. He explained there were only three traffic accidents, which were all minor.

On the positive side, Captain Cendrowski said it was a peaceful first weekend of the enforcement and he hopes it will remain this way throughout the three weeks of the national campaign — which is from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and involves more than 30 police officers in local enforcement.  

The Commander of the traffic division reminds the public that the campaign features “invisible” police officers, who will be observing and ticketing alcohol-impaired individuals who try to get behind the wheel.

“Don’t risk it, please. If you are consuming alcohol, attain a designated driver or catch a cab home, don’t drink and drive."

He added, “You will be caught, you will be arrested and you will appear in court to answer for your actions. “Is it worth it? Ask yourself that before you get behind the wheel intoxicated, because you put yourself and everyone else on the road at risk when you drive drunk. Remember that drinking alcohol and driving don’t mix — that’s a very dangerous combination”.

Capt. Cendrowski also reminds members of the public that even one drink can and will impair your judgment, putting not only yourself at risk, but everyone else in grave danger.

He added a reminder that members of the public are encouraged to report impaired drivers to the police by calling 911 or 633-1111.

He further reminds everyone to “always buckle up, in every ride” regardless of your seating position in the vehicle, because it’s your best defense against an impaired driver.



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