By Jay Meisel
MARTIN COUNTY - Martin County Sheriff's Office cracked down on drivers driving under the influence during the Labor Day weekend.
Sgt. Richard Parks said the county had six deputies concentrating on drunken driving, as opposed to the normal three.
It was part of a national campaign to reduce intoxicated driving deaths, he said.
The operation concentrated on not only U.S. 1, but also such side streets as Martin Highway, Jensen Beach Boulevard and Kanner Highway, Sgt. Parks said.
Making intoxicated driving arrests, however, is not confined to special enforcement operations, he said.
Statistics have shown that Martin County makes more arrests for driving under the influence than St. Lucie or Indian River counties.
Sgt. Parks said that may be a result of Martin County having officers dedicated to catching intoxicated drivers.
With budget cuts going on in most agencies, it's sometimes hard to maintain positions for such specialized enforcement, he said.
Those assigned to concentrate on catching intoxicated drivers receive some advanced training, he said.
For example, he said, deputies with advanced training can look at a person's eyes and tell whether they are under the influence of alcohol.
About half the arrests involved someone under the influence of alcohol and the remaining involve prescription drugs or other substances, he said.
Sometimes they stop a driver and find the person is driving erratically because of another factor, he said.
Texting is the most common reason, he added.