Traffic enforcement conducted in the past ten days has yielded thirty-one arrests, eighteen of which have been for Driving under the Influence. Remaining arrests have been for Driving without Insurance or Registration or a Valid Driver’s License, along with multiple arrests for Leaving the Scene of an Accident.
Of concern to Traffic Officers has been the degree of intoxication they have been seeing on the road. Of the eighteen DUI arrests, there have been four cases where the blood alcohol content of the suspect was over twice the legal limit, as high as .241% and .249%.
Additionally, some of the incidents leading to arrests for Leaving the Scene of an Accident are suspected to be linked to driving under the influence, including, for example, a single-vehicle accident that occurred shortly after 3AM on Thursday, 15 December near Kings Roundabout in George Town. A man and a woman who had been involved in the accident were spoken to by police; as a result of accounts they provided officers had cause to suspect that the man, aged 28 of George Town, had attempted to pervert the course of justice and he was arrested. Another man, aged 43 of George Town, who was not at the location when police arrived, was subsequently located by police and also arrested on Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice, suspicion of DUI, and Leaving the Scene of the Accident. Both men are currently on Police bail. The woman at the scene, aged 32 of George Town, was warned for prosecution on suspicion of Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice, but was not taken into custody because of medical circumstances.
“This one case highlights a lot of the problems we are dealing with, where persons not only choose to drive while under the influence, but then attempt to evade the consequences of their actions, even with assistance from others,” said Acting Chief Inspector Everton Spence. “It also demonstrates the perception some members of the public have that driving under the influence is no big deal. This could not be further from the truth. It is a very big deal and can have severe consequences. Although it is possible you may drive under the influence without incident, it is never worth the risk.”
Another arrest for DUI occurred shortly after 12AM on Monday, 18 December, on West Bay Road, near Villas of the Galleon. A silver Ford Explorer and a black Nissan Skyline collided, and the driver of the Explorer, a man aged 33 of George Town, was arrested on suspicion of DUI. The passengers of the Explorer, a man and a woman, along with the driver of the Skyline, were taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital. The female passenger of the Explorer and the driver of the Skyline were treated for non-life-threatening-injuries and subsequently released, however the male passenger of the Explorer remains in hospital.
“We will intensify our traffic operations as the season continues,” said Chief Inspector Everton Spence, “and I want to urge those who have been irresponsible in their driving to change their behavior before they lose their license for a year, or worse, have a serious accident with lifelong consequences.”
In line with RCIPS tripartite strategy to improve road safety, encompassing education, enforcement and engineering, officers are conducting high visibility patrols and traffic stops across the islands with the aim of reducing traffic collision and cracking down on drunk driving and other traffic offenses. The RCIPS has resourced a newly-enhanced Traffic and Roads Policing Unit to carry out this strategy throughout the entire year; however, in recognition of the increase in alcohol consumption and speed-related accidents during the holiday season these efforts have intensified under Operation Winter Guardian during December. The RCIPS is also partnering with the National Drug Council and the Share the Road Campaign to educate the public about greater road safety and encourage all road users to enjoy the holiday season safely and legally.