A humbled Fairfield police officer said he “never would have thought” he’d win an award for doing his job.
But Officer Bryan Carnes was honored in April at the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Southwest Ohio awards recognition luncheon in Dayton for his work combating impaired drivers. He was one of the honorees for the organization’s “Honoring Our Heroes Awards.”
“I go out and be productive throughout the shift,” Carnes said about finding impaired drivers.
He said he looks for key things, such as people not driving in their lanes or other traffic violations.
Carnes, who has been with the department for more than three years, pulls over vehicles with a suspected impaired driver, he just asks them questions “and nine times out of 10 people are generally honest.”
“I just make that decision if they’re okay to drive or if they’re not okay to drive,” he said.
So far this year, Carnes has arrested more than 20 people for driving while impaired.
On top of the OVI checkpoints conducted in Fairfield, Carnes said most times on Friday and Saturday nights they perform OVI patrol paid for by a state grant. There are also a handful of officers, including Carnes, who are ARIDE-certified (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement) looking for impaired drivers under the influence of narcotics.
But Carnes said the younger officers coming on board to the force “are interested in doing OVI enforcement.”
“We like to be in the lead, and we like to make it known that if you’re driving impaired in Fairfield that there’s a high chance you’re going to get stopped,” he said.
Rachel Babish, MADD Ohio program director, said the recognition luncheon is “designed to honor the most outstanding law enforcement officers, criminal justice professional and citizens” for their dedication to fight drunk and drugged driving.
“These individuals being honor have truly made a positive impact in the communities in which we work and live,” she said.
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