Within the span of three days, the Ocean View Police Department made three DUI arrests.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 16, an officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle that was traveling at a high rate of speed westbound on Atlantic Avenue (Route 26). However, the vehicle did not stop, and instead continued to travel at a high rate of speed into the town limits of Millville.
OVPD Cpl. Rhys Bradshaw, who serves as the department’s public information officer, said the vehicle eventually stopped in a parking space on Beach Plum Drive.
Patricio A. Bautista, 29, of Millville, proceeded to exit the vehicle but refused to stop when ordered to do so by the officer, he said. As a result, Bautista was tasered by the officer and taken into custody. He was later charged with his fourth offense of DUI, as well as resisting arrest, disregarding a police officer signal and multiple traffic offenses. He was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $10,002 cash bail.
The department made two DUI arrests on Dec. 19, the first about 11:03 a.m., after conducting a stop for a traffic violation. Bradshaw said that when the officer made contact with the driver, Douglas M. Owens Jr, 51, of Frankford, they detected an odor of alcohol.
A subsequent field sobriety test led to Owens being charged with his sixth offense of DUI, as well as driving while suspended or revoked, and other related traffic charges. He was later committed to SCI.
That same evening, about 5:24 p.m., OVPD was dispatched to investigate a possible drunk driver, as citizens had reported to authorities that the vehicle had almost caused multiple accidents in the area.
OVPD officers located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. Following the stop and ensuing investigation, Charles R. Patterson Jr. of Frankford was arrested for his fifth offense of DUI, as well as disregarding a police officer’s signal and driving while suspended/revoked.
“The Ocean View Police Department has always been a very proactive department when it comes to traffic enforcement, and especially when it comes to DUI enforcement,” said Bradshaw. “Our mission is to keep the roads safe.”
During the holiday season, Bradshaw said, the department does see an increase in DUIs, and accordingly adds extra officers to shifts.
Bradshaw said citizens should be cognizant as to what they drink, and when, if they are outside their home and intend to travel.
“Know your tolerance, know your time. If you have a drink or two when you get there, don’t go drinking less than an hour later. Eat plenty of food and drink plenty of water. It’s just common-sense stuff.”
As was the case with Patterson’s arrest, Bradshaw said citizens regularly report possibly dangerous drivers to the authorities.
“They’re not all of those are drunk drivers,” he explained, noting that sometimes drivers reported turn out to be sleepy or distracted.
Bradshaw encouraged any citizen who feels there is a potentially dangerous driver on the roadway to call 911 and report it.
“We welcome people to call anytime they feel someone is impaired and could be a danger on the roadway.”
He added that the OVPD, along with all other area police departments, are working to keep the roadways safe, especially during the holiday season.
“OVPD, along with all the other agencies in this area, are very proactive in enforcing DUI rules. A lot of us have extra patrols during the holidays. We’re out there looking.”