SCOTTSDALE, AZ - The Scottsdale city council is expected to approve a $150,000 grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety to help fund the police department's "Know Your Limit" program.
"We have officers go out and contact people on a completely consensual basis," said Sgt. K.C. Moore, who leads Know Your Limit. Officers offer breathalyzer tests without consequence to partiers twice a month in Old Town Scottsdale and at special events, like the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
"We had to find another way that would reduce peoples' thought process that because they were drinking, they could still drive home," Moore said. People who choose to receive a breathalyzer test are reminded of penalties for driving drunk. Officers have already contacted more than 12,000 people this year through the effort, more than all of 2016.
Since Scottsdale launched Know Your Limit in 2010, it's expanded to 33 other police agencies in the U.S.
Moore estimates up to 25,000 people visit Old Town Scottsdale bars every Friday and Saturday night. It's "impossible" for patrol officers to contact everyone driving home, he said, so this serves as a way for the department to reach people at the source.
"Half are probably going to be over the legal limit of a .08," he said. "Of those half -- of those 10,000 [people] -- 5,000 are going to decide to drive home drunk," he estimated.
The program is funded by the city and outside grants, like the one up for renewal.
Moore hopes to continue assisting other police departments in their efforts to establish similar programs.