KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The DUI unit of the Kansas City, Missouri police department reported it has already made more arrests this year than in the past.
Officers from just that unit are responsible for 1,046 DUI arrests in 2020, a 95% jump from 2019. The number of DUI’s they’ve issued in 2021 is even higher, up 24% to 1,296.
“I want everyone to understand that two years ago we’d write 500 DUIs a year. Now they’ve done 1,300 this year. That’s just absolutely amazing,” Capt. Gideon Cody, Kansas City Police Department, said.
“Every day we take a drunk off the street we save a life,” Sgt. Corey Carlisle, Kansas City Police Dept., said.
Carlisle continued and said his department is seeing more people driving under the influence of drugs while also refusing to take a breathalyzer when they are stopped. The unit told Kansas City’s Board of Police Commissioners Tuesday costs were skyrocketing because when a driver refused the test, they need to get a search warrant to draw a suspect’s blood. Blood tests can be expensive.
“Working with the crime lab we were able to identify the top 9 drugs that were found,” Capt. Cody, said. “We cut it down to the regular 9, while giving ourselves the option to still use the big panel if we ever have to and we were able to reduce the cost of this by tens of thousands of dollars.”
As the department makes more DUI arrests, one of its officers was honored for his role.
Officer Douglas Davidson was recognized at Tuesday’s Board of Police Commissioner’s meeting for being named the 2020 Officer of the Year at the Law Enforcement Traffic Safety Advisory Conference last month.
He received the award because of the 256 DUI arrests he made in 2020. That averages out to about five DUI arrests every week in 2020.
The award is the highest award an officer can receive from the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Another KCPD officer made more than 300 DUI arrests in 2020, according to Capt. Cody.