The Washington State Patrol announced in a press release on Friday that they used an airplane equipped with an video camera with thermal imaging to help apprehend a suspected drunk driver on the I-5 at the South Tacoma extension.
The Patrol said that starting in July 2008, they started using the camera-equipped airplanes to help in DUI enforcement. The program is called “DART” for “DUI Aerial Response Team.”
On Wednesday night, troopers in the Patrol airplane saw a Volkswagen weaving in traffic and crossing lane dividers. They coordinated with troopers on the ground to apprehend a 44-year-old Woodland man who was taken into custody for DUI and booked into the Pierce County jail.
“We believe that DART will improve the apprehension rate of drunk drivers reported by concerned citizens via cell phones”, said Captain Mark Couey with the Special Operations Division. Chief Pilot, Sergeant Jim Nobach added, “WSP aircraft provide a rapid response to reported erratically driven vehicles and are seldom out-of-position”.
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