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Report an impaired driver, get $100 in Palm Beach County, Florida

Rating:
3/5,
  1. Rob Cypher
    This is the time of year when roads can be more perilous as holiday revelers imbibe and then decide to drive.

    That's why law enforcement throughout Florida will be aggressively looking for and arresting drivers who are under the influence. But in Palm Beach County, residents are also being enlisted in the DUI battle.

    Their reward is not only safer roads but also cash.

    For more than a decade, the Safety Council of Palm Beach County has run the "Mobile Eyes" program. People who report a drunken driver can receive $100 if the driver is arrested.

    The program has led to hundreds of arrests over the years since it began in 2001. Every year, Mobile Eyes hands out 30 to 40 cash rewards.

    But this year, the reports haven't been coming in at the same rate. So far, only 17 rewards have been handed out this year. Officials are concerned people may have forgotten the program exists, and a renewed push is being made to let drivers know about Mobile Eyes.

    "We thought the holidays was a great time to remind people," said Donna Bryan, spokeswoman for the safety council. "Just getting one (drunken driver) off the road is a good thing."

    The Palm Beach County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is regularly promoting the program at its victim impact panels.

    People often report suspect drivers after a crash occurs, said Diego Asencio, a longtime MADD volunteer. That's encouraging, but the damage already has been done.

    "The idea is to get them before the crash happens," he said.

    Programs like Mobile Eyes, law enforcement and DUI prevention efforts have made a difference, Asencio said.

    Alcohol-related traffic crashes and deaths have been on the decline since 2009 in Palm Beach County. In 2009, 62 people died from alcohol-related crashes in the county. Last year, there were 47.

    Statewide, 1,004 people died from alcohol-related crashes in 2009, compared to 920 last year.

    "The deaths are going down," Asencio said. "But we still have a lot of work to do."

    That's especially true during the holidays. Among the deadliest times of the year on the road are between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

    People are attending parties and dinners and consuming more alcohol than they normally would.

    Sgt. Nicole Guerriero, spokeswoman for the Delray Beach Police Department, said law enforcement depends on residents to work with them to keep their community safe.

    "We always say we need someone else to be our eyes and ears," she said. "We need someone to tell us about unsafe drivers."

    The Mobile Eyes program works simply. If residents spot an impaired driver, they call 911 and an officer is dispatched. If an arrest is made, the police fill out a Mobile Eyes report that is sent to the safety council. The person who reported the impaired driver then gets $100.

    Guerriero said people should not try to interact or stop an impaired driver. That could be dangerous.

    Instead, they should follow behind at a safe distance, call the police and provide the vehicle's tag number and where the driver is heading.

    Then, they can wait to collect their cash.

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-mobile-eyes-drunk-drivers-20121227,0,141535.story

Comments

  1. DOG-CHOPPER
    $100 to dob your friends in as their leaving the pub or some poor bloke on his way home thats had a bad day.

    What will they think of next = dob your mum and dad in or dob your children in for drinking.
  2. storkfmny
    This is nothing new, Hitler did it too. Germans were in fear of saying anything to anyone if they didn't like what was going on (even to their own neighbors).
  3. DOG-CHOPPER
    The system is just ridiculous to the stage that citizens are required to do most of their work.

    These days the laws in most communist countries are less restrictive than ours , and they have less % of population in jail than us.
    With all these 800 new jails in the USA i wonder what the future plans for our community are?

    Answer : lots of incarcerated family members.

    Sad aint it.
  4. ianzombie
    Reporting drunk drivers is something someone should do without cash incentive.
    If i could not stop my friend driving drunk then i would consider it, not for the money, to save peoples lives, my friends and innocent drivers and pedestrians.
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