Back in February of 2023, after a spate of fatal crashes in the area, Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall declared, “Enough is Enough,” and thus began a campaign of increased patrols and Driving Under the Influence arrests.
From February 17 to April 17, the sheriff’s office more than doubled their DUI arrests over the year prior.
Over the campaign, deputies made 47 DUI arrests, 12 of them being drug-impaired drivers. For the same period in 2022, they made 22 DUI arrests, and three of those were drug-impaired drivers.
The increased traffic patrols are funded by grants to target speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving – and the object was to reduce traffic fatalities in Benton County.
“As a result of the campaign, we are currently below trend for 2023 on crashes involving fatalities: four last year and three this year. The most recent fatal crash involved a single vehicle in which the driver, the only person involved, was impaired.” according to a release from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
Campaign Continues, Sheriff Asks Public for Help
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Benton County community for their continued assistance and ongoing partnership as it relates to this topic,” Stated Sheriff Van Arsdall. “You are the eyes and ears in the community and a vital asset to the continued education and enforcement of these laws. I also want to thank the Benton County Deputy Sheriffs who make community safety a priority every day.”
In a release, the Sheriff’s office requests further help from the community.
“BCSO encourages drivers to continue reporting erratic behavior such as passing in no-passing zones, following too closely, excessive speeding, or failing to maintain their lane. Have your passenger call 9-1-1 immediately. If you are traveling alone, find a safe place to pull over and call 9-1-1 to report the location, direction of travel, license plate, and description of the vehicle.”
BCSO deputies will continue to provide increased traffic patrols through grant funding.