By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Bend Police arrested 302 people for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in 2020.
So far in 2021, over 40 drivers have been arrested.
In Kyle Chaquico’s first week as a DUI enforcement officer with the department, he’s arrested 10.
“When you arrest someone for DUI, I strongly believe that can save lives and more than one,” Chaquico said. “Especially when you consider a motor vehicle accident where there’s impairment, and you think about all the people that have been injured or God forbid killed in that accident.”
The Bend Police Department has added two new positions dedicated to DUI enforcement and aggressive driving, one of which Chaquico holds.
Because Chaquico’s position revolves around DUI enforcement, he believes it allows him to be more efficient and potentially catch more impaired drivers in a single shift.
“When we have just a regular patrol officer or traffic team officer to conduct a DUI investigation, in many cases it’s extremely time consuming,” Chaquico said. “That officer is specific with that one person, that driver, for multiple hours.”
The new positions have become even more necessary as Bend’s population grows.
“Just with the impact that it has for the community,” Chaquico said. “It’s absolutely huge.”
Chaquico says he’s confident this program, as a whole, will save lives.
“It’s all teamwork, it’s not just me,” Chaquico said. “It’s the rest of the team, it’s the rest of the Bend Police officers, we’re all working as a team to really make an impact with DUI enforcement.”