• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 27s

Citizens help nab New Year’s Eve DUIs

By KTVA Alaska 9:32 PM January 1, 2014

Nine DUI arrests were made, one of which was made possible by citizen patrol, police say

ANCHORAGE – A DUI charge, three days in jail, and more than $25,000 in related costs and fees, along with the loss of the offender’s vehicle for 30 days.

That is how the nine people suspected of driving under the influence decided to bring in 2014, according to Anchorage police.

It was the witching hour in Anchorage, and Alaska’s finest were out in force. On New Year’s Eve, they were armed with an unsuspecting ally — everyday citizens bent on cleaning up the streets.

“These people just don’t seem to get the message, ‘Don’t drink and drive,”” said Nick Hornshuh, Anchorage Police Citizen Academy Alumni Association president. “Last night we decided that some of us would go out and help out, so we went out and looked for impaired drivers.”

Hours before the beginning of 2014, the department decided to do something a little different, inviting Twitter followers along for a “tweet-along” as 10 DUI patrol officers roved the streets of Anchorage.

One hour and 19 minutes into the new year and APD was responding to two suspected DUI’s, according to the APD Twitter page.

Hornshuh doesn’t pack an Anchorage Police Department issued handgun. He doesn’t wear a badge and he doesn’t have those bright blue lights built onto his vehicle. But that doesn’t stop him from providing this civil service.

“We can go out and we can be a little bit stealthier than police officers because they don’t know who we are,” Hornshuh said. “We can find someone who is driving erratically or impaired and we can call it in and APD can come in.”

As president of the APCAAA, Hornshuh joins other volunteers that act as an extension of area law enforcement.

“Citizen patrols by the Alumni have been a tremendous asset for the Anchorage Police Department and our community,” said APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro.

By 2:10 a.m., APD was responding to four suspected DUIs.

With the department’s 10 DUI patrol officers tasked to canvass all 1,961 square miles of Anchorage, Castro says the citizen academy becomes invaluable on nights like New Year’s.

“Unfortunately we don’t have enough officers to be everywhere all the time, so when you have that extra help, that extra support to make those important calls, its been very beneficial,” Castro said.

With 80 percent of Anchorage DUI offenders not just drunk, but wasted, testing two times the legal limit, according to Castro, there’s no telling the damage that has been avoided thanks to these extra eyes and ears.

“It’s really great and refreshing to see that people are listening and caring enough to make sure everyone gets home safely and that we’re keeping our streets safe,” Castro said.

At 3:49 a.m., all 10 DUI patrol officers were responding to suspected DUIs.

By New Year’s Eve’s close, nine DUI arrests had been made, one of which was made possible by the citizen patrol, according to police.

To date, the APCAAA has helped put 26 suspected impaired drivers behind bars.

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    Results: ASAA high school basketball quarterfinals

    by Dave Goldman on Mar 23, 17:05

    Girls 3A Quarterfinals Sitka 78 – Valdez 22 Four players scored in the double figures to lead the Sitka Wolves to an easy win over Valdez. Zosha Krupa scored 22 points in 20 minutes. Alexandra Kirby chipped in a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds. Anchorage Christian 54 – Galena 37 After a slow […]

  • Politics

    White House tells House Republicans ,’Let’s vote’ on health care bill

    by Associated Press on Mar 23, 16:44

    The Latest on the upcoming health care vote in the House (all times local): 7:50 p.m. President Donald Trump wants the House to vote on the health care bill, and Republicans say a vote will occur Friday. White House officials had a simple message to a divided House Republican caucus on the bill: “Let’s vote.” […]

  • Results mostly positive with ASD’s fitness trackers

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 23, 12:33

    In the fall of 2015 the Anchorage School District handed out a device called “Sqord” to students in 36 schools. The device is similar to a Fitbit watch and connects a social online world with activity tracking. Kids accumulated points based on how active they were and can compare with friends and classmates. The initiative […]

  • See the Easter Bunny and more on the railroad’s Easter Train

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 23, 12:31

    Families looking to get out of Anchorage and celebrate spring and Easter can hop on board the Alaska Railroad’s Easter Train on April 8. The train will depart from Anchorage twice, once in the morning and in the afternoon. The total ride is expected to last two and a half hours. It will head down the […]

  • Politics

    Update: Murkowski doesn’t want to see health plan rushed

    by Associated Press on Mar 23, 12:25

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Latest on the federal health care debate (all times local): 2:20 p.m. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski cautioned against a “reckless” approach to changing the federal health care law, saying it’s important to get it right. During a Facebook Live event Thursday afternoon, the Alaska Republican said she could not support […]

  • Suspect arrested in overnight standoff charged with kidnapping, animal cruelty

    by KTVA 11 News on Mar 23, 12:09

    The Anchorage Police Department (APD) said it received information Thursday morning that a woman was being held captive inside her home by her boyfriend, who did not live at the residence and was armed with a knife. Police were also informed the suspect, 28-year-old James Roy Nanalook, had strangled the woman’s two cats, according to […]

  • Palmer man indicted for 2016 double homicide eligible for death penalty

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 23, 11:34

    John Pearl Smith II, a Palmer man, could face life in prison or the death penalty if he’s convicted of numerous crimes, including the murders of Wasilla residents Crystal Denardi and Ben Gross. The investigation into their deaths began on June 5, 2016. Troopers said around 4 a.m. they received a 911 call about a possible shooting. […]

  • FCC approves measures intended to combat prison cellphones

    by Associated Press on Mar 23, 8:15

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Federal officials have taken a step toward increasing safety in prisons by making it easier to find and seize cellphones obtained illegally by inmates. The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted Thursday to approve rules to streamline the process for using technology to detect and block contraband phones in prisons and jails […]