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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
11:34 PM Sat, Dec. 15th

Editorial: If you see something, say something

A Toyota pickup, driven by an impaired driver, was totaled when it collided with an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper’s vehicle Sunday evening, Feb. 18. The driver was not injured. (PVPD)

A Toyota pickup, driven by an impaired driver, was totaled when it collided with an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper’s vehicle Sunday evening, Feb. 18. The driver was not injured. (PVPD)

It's okay to call 911

“This stuff happens so quickly, and you want the quickest response possible by calling 911,” said PVPD spokesman Jason Kaufman.

See Story: How to report impaired driving

It is a bad mix: when people drive a vehicle while drunk or high on drugs.

On the front page of today’s Courier is an article about a 22-year-old Prescott Valley man who is facing multiple felony charges after his truck crashed into a Department of Public Safety trooper’s vehicle Sunday night, Feb. 18, on Highway 69.

The trooper was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the truck was not injured, police said.

Both men were lucky.

Every day, nearly 30 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes; that’s one person every 50 minutes, according to 2016 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

While drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by one-third in the past three decades, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives each year, officials report. In 2010, for example, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44 billion per year.

However, the statistic that counts most is: one — that one time when a crash touches your life or the life of someone in your family or someone you know. At a minimum, car repairs or a new vehicle are one result; lost time from work is also likely. The tragedy is when the victims are left either disfigured, crippled … or gone.

The good news is, however, all of this is avoidable.

In addition to making the choice not to drive while intoxicated, there is something more we all can do.

From time to time, police repeat a slogan: “See something, say something.”

“Everyone is encouraged to call law enforcement if they see anything suspicious,” Prescott Valley Police spokesman Jerry Ferguson was quoted as saying recently. “Suspicious activity is anything out of the ordinary or that causes one to feel uncomfortable. If you see something, say something.”

The sight of an erratic driver on the road is a reason to make a call.

In Sunday’s case, law enforcement dispatchers heard from at least six callers. On Sunday night, officers from Prescott Valley Police, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and DPS were searching for a vehicle along Highway 69 that the callers had reported as possibly being driven by someone who was impaired, PVPD reported.

While that search was ongoing, that driver turned onto the highway in front of the trooper, causing the serious crash.

The collision did not happen because officers were looking for someone driving erratically; officers were searching because people called.

In today’s coverage of the incident, police said the best solution is to call 911.

If you see something, say something.

Otherwise, DUI drivers are gambling with their lives, and with yours, too.