The Humboldt State University police department has joined Humboldt County's “Avoid the 7” DUI Task Force.
”I think the task force is great for the community and to be able to join in a collaborative effort like this is especially great when it comes to something like impaired driving,” said HSU police Lt. Melissa Hansen.
Fortuna Police Department Sgt. Charles Ellebrecht said both departments decided it would be mutually beneficial to join together.
”We had the existing Avoid the 7 grant and just had to modify it to include HSU,” Ellebrecht said. “We have been in the process of joining the two departments for a little over a month now and it will be nice to have another agency in the coalition out there helping.”
The Avoid the 8 Task Force -- as it is now known --uses DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols to remove drunk drivers from the roads and educate the public about the dangers of driving drunk, according to the police department's website.
”The HSU police department joining the coalition will help prevent alcohol-related accidents,” Ellebrecht said. “They will be participating in checkpoints and saturation patrols.”
Ellebrecht said the task force will be conducting the next saturation patrol on St. Patrick's Day in the afternoon and evening looking for drunk drivers to keep off the roads.
”We won't be having a major checkpoint, just saturation patrols,” he said.
Hansen said the department will be joining in the St. Patrick's Day patrols by having one unit dedicated to making the rounds watching for drunk or impaired drivers, while other units will be responding to all other calls.