• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 29s

Police combat drunk driving with citizen patrols

By KTVA CBS 11 News 6:54 AM December 6, 2013

After five suspected drunk driving deaths, volunteers and authorities take action

Editor’s note: This story was originally broadcast Dec. 4. It’s the second installment of a three-part series examining drunk driving and the work being done to stop it. 

ANCHORAGE - Police have a new tool to fight drunk driving in Anchorage. KTVA 11 got a dramatic look at what’s being done.

Anchorage had been free of DUI fatalities for 14 months. But after five suspected drunk driving deaths over the summer, police decided they had to take quick action. The Anchorage Police Department worked to set up a citizens’ DUI task force, which was on the street less than a week after the deaths of two 15-year-old girls. On Aug. 9, a suspected drunk driver hit and killed Brooke McPheters and Jordyn Durr while they walked home from shopping.

“All of them were tragic,” said Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew. “But number three and four, the two girls that were just walking down the sidewalk in broad daylight, that rattled everybody here.”

KTVA 11 rode along for several hours overnight with task force members in September. Citizen volunteers use their own cars and volunteer their time to catch drunk drivers. They must go through a 13-week training course, but have no authority on the street. They ride in pairs, and when they see erratic driving the passenger jots down the plate number and calls 911.

The hope is that a police officer will show up to witness a possibly intoxicated driver and arrest them.

“They see us, but they don’t know it’s us,” said task force member Nick Hornshuh.

During a September patrol, a KTVA crew saw drivers weaving all over the road, making three lane turns and one passenger hanging his head out a window, looking like he was going to vomit.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Parnell fires more National Guard leaders; Walker says ‘too little, too late’

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 20, 23:05

    Alaska’s governor has removed three leaders of the Alaska National Guard, effective immediately. A release from Gov. Sean Parnell’s office states that these transitions in the Guard’s senior leadership were made Monday at the governor’s direction. The removal of the three officials comes at a time when Parnell is in the process of selecting a permanent […]

  • News

    Girl Scouts bring special-needs shopping carts to Sitka

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 20, 19:46

    For those who have children with special needs, everything is a bit more challenging. Recently, Sitka resident Jeff Bentley brought his daughter, Jema, along on a trip to the grocery store. The five-year-old has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. “Jema, you want to sit in the cart?” Bentley asked her. The father says even a trip to […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 20

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 20, 19:44

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound can expect clearing skies with some lingering snow showers in the morning. In the Southeast, showers will happen south of Sitka with a possibility of showers to the north. Patchy fog will develop along the land areas. Interior areas will have cloudy skies and flurries possible, while the North […]

  • Lifestyle

    Web Extra: Digging out

    by John Thain on Oct 20, 18:59

    We knew it was coming, but today’s snowfall still felt like a surprise. Were you ready for the snow? We asked some Rabbit Creek residents how they felt about the area’s first measurable snowfall of the season.

  • News

    First snow greets Anchorage

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 20, 18:42

    Anchorage’s first measurable snowfall of the season took some people by surprise, while others accepted it in stride. Darnell Little says he knew on Sunday that Monday’s snowfall would take place — not because he heard the weather forecast, but because he looked up at the mountains. “I told my wife, ‘I can’t see the […]

  • News

    ASD bans military recruiters after reports of alleged misconduct

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 20, 18:01

    The Anchorage School District has banned all military recruiters from the district’s campuses until further notice. This decision comes in light of recent reports that allege members of the Alaska Army National Guard’s recruiting staff made inappropriate advances toward high school students. Superintendent Ed Graff with the Anchorage School District says last week’s leak of […]

  • Politics

    Early voting begins in Alaska

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 20, 15:49

    Those who lined up at the Division of Elections headquarters in midtown Anchorage this morning were among the first in the state to cast their ballots for November’s general election. Voters across Alaska have more opportunity than ever before to vote early as the DOE has added 130 new locations for absentee and early voting. Those […]

  • News

    Begich urges more airport screenings for Ebola

    by Associated Press on Oct 20, 15:25

    U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has urged the president to expand health screenings at more international airports, including Anchorage, in response to Ebola concerns. In a letter to President Barack Obama, Begich said such “sensible travel restrictions” must be considered to help contain the outbreak in West Africa and prevent its spread to the U.S. U.S. […]