• 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

  • Weather

    Weekend weather, Dec. 21

    by KTVA Weather on Dec 21, 18:54

    We saw a little snow today across Anchorage. More isolated snowfall is in store for tonight. As we head into Christmas week, stay tuned for another system to track in on Christmas Day, giving us a chance of more snowfall activity. Highs all week long will remain in the mid- to -lower-20s.

  • Crime

    Soldotna woman with 3 kids in car arrested for DUI

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 21, 18:13

    A woman is in custody after she was pulled over Saturday night on the Kenai Spur Highway for driving impaired with children in the vehicle. At about 9 p.m., the Alaska Bureau of Highway Patrol responded to a REDDI report of “an intoxicated motorist with children in the car,” according to an online AST dispatch posted […]

  • Crime

    1 injured in downtown Anchorage shooting near PlayHouse bar

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 21, 13:49

    One person was injured in a shooting in downtown Anchorage early Sunday morning. At about 2:15 a.m., officers were called to a shooting in the area of 420 W. Third Ave., according to a statement from the Anchorage Police Department. The incident occurred near the PlayHouse bar, APD spokeswoman Anita Shell said in an email. At […]

  • News

    2 vehicles sink on Chena River ice stretch

    by Associated Press on Dec 21, 13:06

    At least two vehicles recently sank into the Chena River on a section long used as an ice-covered shortcut between Airport Way and Chena Small Tracts Road. Bob Weaver, the owner of Ron’s Towing, said a rented SUV driven by an out-of-state motorist sank Dec. 15 after making a left turn onto the river from […]

  • Sports

    Iditarod Trail Committee names Philip Esai 2015 Honorary Musher

    by KTVA Sports on Dec 21, 12:41

    The Iditarod Trail Committee has bestowed an honor on one of its most dedicated volunteers. Philip Esai, who passed away earlier this year, has been named the 2015 Honorary Musher. Each year, the committee honors one or more people who have made a significant contribution to the sport of sled dog racing. Esai and his […]

  • Crime

    2 arrested in connection with $30K stolen from Alaska fish hatchery

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 20, 18:39

    Two Palmer men are in custody in connection with a burglary that occurred at an Alaskan fish hatchery last month. On Nov. 8, Alaska State Troopers were notified that $30,000 worth of steel, aluminum and copper had been stolen from the Eklutna Tailrace fish hatchery. The suspects also caused approximately $30,000 worth of damage by “cutting through walls […]

  • News

    Last call to get Christmas gifts in the mail

    by Shannon Ballard on Dec 20, 17:07

    The Saturday before Christmas is one of the busiest mailing days of the year — and for good reason. If gifters want to make sure their cards, presents and parcels arrive by Dec. 25, the deadline to send mail first-class or priority is today. “With our transportation network that we have, a lot of our priority […]

  • News

    Anchorage libraries get new self-checkout machines

    by Sierra Starks, Shannon Ballard on Dec 20, 16:24

    Anchorage Public Library is unveiling a new addition to its branch locations. Libraries around Anchorage debuted new self-service checkout machines last week. Z. J. Loussac Public Library launched their new machines Friday. On Saturday, library-goers could be seen testing out the touchscreen feature, returning books and DVDs and checking their account balances. Stacia McGourty, a reference and […]