Mothers Against Drunk Driving Kern County's Top DUI arresting officer of 2018 was one of Bakersfield's own.
Officer Robert Tyo, 30, of the Bakersfield Police Department made 223 DUI arrests in 2018 — the most arrests by one person in Kern County. Tyo was honored at the MADD Kern County law enforcement and prosecutor recognition luncheon Wednesday. Officers from different agencies were honored, but no other officer made as many DUI arrests in 2018 as Tyo.
Tyo has been with BPD since 2015, and he has worked the night shift for the past two years, giving him ample opportunity to make DUI arrests. He was previously recognized by MADD Kern County last year for the 67 DUI arrests he made in 2017.
15 other BPD officers were recognized for the number of DUI arrests they made in 2018. So were officers from the Taft Police Department; Shafter Police Department; Kern County Sheriff's Office; Ridgecrest Police Department; and California Highway Patrol.
According to MADD Kern County, there were nearly 4,400 arrests for DUI in Kern County in 2018, which equates to about 12 DUI arrests each day.
“There are numerous ways we as a community can come together to fight against DUI crimes, whether it’s through law enforcement and prosecution, serving as a designated driver, or helping raise awareness of the DUI epidemic in Kern County,” said Carla Pearson, victim services specialist for MADD Kern County. “It’s important we acknowledge and award the special efforts made here. Simply, these people are saving lives.”
67 officers from Kern County were recognized and awarded at the luncheon as well.
BPD regularly conducts DUI checkpoints around the city, during which officers look for drivers showing signs of alcohol and drug impairment as well as proper licensing. Officers will also be evaluating anyone suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for an increasing number of impaired driving crashes. Illegal narcotics, prescription drugs, marijuana, and even some over-the-counter medications may impair driving, BPD said.
DUI checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, which gives officers an opportunity for getting drunk and drugged drivers off the roads. These locations are chosen with the safety of officers and the public in mind, BPD said.
A DUI checkpoint conducted by BPD in April in the 200 block of Bernard Street led to four arrests for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. One of the drivers was also arrested on suspicion of child endangerment as she was driving with her minor children in the vehicle.
Among others recognized were Kim Richardson of the Kern County District Attorney's Office, receiving the prosecutor of the year award; and Brian Mara, DUI Program Supervisor at the Kern County Probation Department.
Drivers arrested for driving impaired can expect a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that could cost more than $10,000.
BPD encourages everyone to help keep roadways safe by calling 911 if an impaired driver is suspected.