Less than a week after joining a yearlong study on the relationship between alcohol use and traffic accidents, the Long Beach Police Department is already having trouble finding cooperative drivers.
Officers who pull over drivers to be interviewed voluntarily by a researcher are discovering that some motorists would rather not have their breath analyzed for the nationwide study, Lt. Jack Starbird said.
Starbird said he suspects that most of those who refuse to participate may have already been drinking. What they don’t realize, he said, is that they would not be taken in if the officer has not already noticed intoxication.
“If the researcher happens to find that the person is over the legal limit,” Starboard said, “we’d put [the driver] in a taxi and send them home.”
The department recently received $331,000 in state and federal funds to dedicate four officers to help update 30-year-old data on drinking and driving.