UPDATE: UCF PD announced that the demo has been canceled due to rain, but it plans to be rescheduled.
With Halloween looming around the corner, the UCF Police Department announced Tuesday that it will partner with Orange County Sheriff’s Office this weekend to crack down on DUIs.
“This weekend UCF PD will have staffing dedicated to looking out for impaired drivers, and our SNAP partnership with OCSO will be in effect,” said UCF PD spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin.
Extra officers will be out and present in the UCF area to ensure that students who plan to celebrate Halloween with drinking are doing so legally, safely and responsibly, Gilmartin said.
To give students a sense of how drunk driving impacts their driving ability and distracts them, UCF PD will break out SIDNE, a drunk-driving simulator, Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. near the Recreation and Wellness Center for any students who wish to participate.
Additionally, Gilmartin said UCF PD has seen a lot of fake IDs with its SNAP program, and reminds students that possessing a fake driver’s license is a felony that can follow students throughout their life.
The SNAP, or Sector II Noise and Alcohol Patrol program, is an initiative conceived earlier this year to target dangerous drinking and partying behaviors, as a response to the spike in crime and population near UCF.
However, underage drinking among college students is still an issue. Gilmartin said that in the past week UCF PD has arrested two underage students for DUIs.
The first incident took place Oct. 21 at the Pointe at Central around 1 a.m. According to an arrest report, 20-year-old Salvatore Rodriguez was driving a friend’s car back to the Pointe after leaving Knight Library when he turned into the complex and hit a tree. Rodriguez then parked at a church next to the complex, got out of the car and left the scene.
UCF PD arrested Rodriguez for driving under the influence with property damage due to a car crash. Officers also found a fake ID in his wallet, Gilmartin said.
The second event took place Oct. 24 on campus. Rachel Garrison, 19, left the Kappa Delta house when she rear-ended a parked car and left the scene, according to an arrest report. After UCF PD confronted her, Garrison failed a DUI test and was arrested for driving under the influence with property damage and leaving the scene of an accident. Gilmartin said that Garrison later provided breath samples of .228 and .224.
“We hope that extra officers out looking for underage drinkers and impaired drivers [this weekend] serves as a reminder to think before drinking and to never get behind the wheel if impaired,” she said.
Danielle Hendrix is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @ByDaniHendrix or email her at DanielleH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.