The Loveland Police Department (LPD) announced recently that it will conduct a professional review of its DUI enforcement program.
The Colorado Department of Transportation reports that 691 lives were lost on Colorado roads alone, up 50% since 2011. Since 2019, there has been a 44% increase in fatalities involving impaired drivers.
“A member of the defense bar and some individuals arrested for DUI have expressed concerns about a program that is vital to public safety in our community,” said LPD Deputy Chief Eric Stewart. “After assuming my role as interim chief of police, I will work with the City Manager’s Office to identify the best person or organization to take on this important task.”
This review will include policies and procedures, overall strategy, and status and outcomes of current and recent enforcement efforts.
“While we cannot comment on specific cases, especially those involving civil litigation, we want to make it clear to the public that we are open and transparent in our work,” said Stewart.
“It is also important for me to stress that this process is not an acknowledgment as to the validity or accuracy of the specific complaints made by certain individuals about our DUI program,” said Stewart. “We view this professional review as part of our commitment to continuous improvement on behalf of those we serve,” said Stewart.
“As a department, we want to know what we are doing right and what we could better,” said Stewart. “We appreciate the support our citizens have shown our officers over the years, which I believe comes from their day-to-day interaction with our officers and the department’s commitment to earning and maintaining national certification.”
“The rising number of drunk and impaired drivers in our state is alarming. Here at the LPD, we have taken a leadership role in reducing this risk to our community. For the past five years, our department has been represented at the state level, working alongside other leaders, organizations, and victims’ families to continue reducing the impacts of drunk and impaired driving in Colorado,” said LPD Chief Bob Ticer.
“Part of LPD’s responsibility to protect our community is to keep impaired drivers off the road. They are a danger to themselves and others. The LPD is committed to DUI enforcement best practices and nationally-recognized training for our officers.”
The LPD certifications include training for all officers in both Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) and Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), both programs developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with input from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Select officers receive additional training in the nationally recognized 12-step Drug Recognition Protocol (DRE). LPD is one of 62 agencies with DREs in the state of Colorado.
“Drunk and impaired driving is too important an issue for the health and safety of our community to ignore or to wait for the outcome of any litigation,” said Stewart. “As this department has demonstrated, we are not afraid to have outside experts look at our operations to suggest changes where they may be needed or confirm where we continue to excel.”
“I know under Interim Chief Stewart’s leadership we will continue to do our part to ensure that we reduce this risk to our community,” said Ticer.