ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. --The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office is stepping up its efforts to catch people who drink and drive over Labor Day weekend.
From Friday through Labor Day, more deputies will be on patrol looking just for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
There will also be a new tool on the roads to help catch more drunk drivers— faster.
The sheriff’s office is bringing out the BAT mobile, or Breath Alcohol Testing truck.
The sheriff’s office gained the truck in 2011, but according to deputies, staffing and training has not always been in place to operate the truck.
Deputy David Caglioni is now trained to use it. He’ll be driving it Labor Day weekend.
“There’s going to be a lot of people out and a lot of parties. Hopefully not too many drunk drivers, but we’re going to get a few,” Caglioni said.
He will be mobile all weekend, unless there becomes a specific area with more potential drunk drivers where he will station the truck.
When deputies pull someone over suspected of driving under the influence, they can call Caglioni. He will meet them at their DUI stop.
“Normally we would have to take the suspect to the jail to administer the breath test. With the BAT mobile, we can do it right on scene,” Caglioni explained.
Inside the truck, they administer a breath test, process paper work, run background checks and write arrest affidavits.
It can help deputies save up to one hour per stop.
“That’s more time that they can be out here patrolling the streets looking for another potential DUI.”
Deputies can also leave the suspect in the truck and hit the road looking for other dangerous drivers. Another road deputy can then take the suspect to jail.
Caglioni is confident this will help make the roads safer for celebrating the end of summer.
“Maybe somebody seeing this will change their mind on whether they’re going to drive drunk or not,” said Caglioni.