Island police plan extra patrols to catch drunk drivers


Oak Bluffs and Edgartown police plan extra patrols on New Year’s Eve to crack down on drunk drivers. Both down-Island towns will dedicate officers specifically to stop drivers who have had too much to drink.

“They don’t answer calls, unless it’s an emergency,” Oak Bluffs police lieutenant Tim Williamson said. “Those guys are just out there basically looking for people, for marked lane violations, any indication that gives them reason to believe that someone is operating under the influence. They’ll make the traffic stop and take enforcement action.”

The extra patrols are part of a state program called “Over the limit, under arrest.” Police officers funded by a state grant will be on Island roads December 30 and 31.

Edgartown police chief Tony Bettencourt cautions holiday revelers to use common sense as they ring in the New Year.

“We ask people to enjoy the holiday, drink responsibly and we urge everyone to use public transportation or designate a sober driver,” Chief Bettencourt said.