The group, made up of residents who volunteer their own time and use their own cars, was set up right after two 15-year-old girls were killed by a suspected drunk driver in August.
Editor’s note: This story, originally aired Dec. 5, is the final installment of a three-part series examining the impacts of drunk driving and the work being done to stop it.
ANCHORAGE – A citizens’ DUI task force has made a lot of progress in Anchorage.
The group, made up of residents who volunteer their own time and use their own cars, was set up right after two 15-year-old girls were killed by a suspected drunk driver in August. Over the span of a few months, five people were killed in suspected drunk driving crashes in Anchorage.
KTVA 11 rode along with task force members to see how the program works. While riding in September, task force member Nick Hornshuh and his partner spotted a car driving erratically after leaving downtown. They followed the vehicle and ended up calling 911.
Police were quickly able to locate the car and pull it over. The driver, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Spc. Gary Diguardi, was arrested for DUI.
He ended up pleading guilty, and said he set a bad example. Outside the courtroom, KTVA’s Joe Vigil told him he was caught after being reported by the citizens’ DUI task force.
“I’m glad they did,” Diguardi said. “That probably saved me and my buddy’s life.”
Calls from the citizens’ DUI task force have resulted in 23 DUI arrests since August, police said.