The recent data from the Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) showed that alcohol-related vehicular accidents all over Palau from January to June this year had dropped down to almost a half when compared to around the same period last year.

Police were able to record a total of 60 road accidents related to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol from January to June 2017 while there are only 38 DUI-related cases in the same period this year.

Public Safety Director Aloysius Alonz said that they are attributing this decrease to the series of sobriety checkpoint, compliance checkpoint, bar closure and foot patrols that the police officers are conducting.

“As you can tell, it just decreased significantly, especially the DUI,” Alonz said, adding that officers did conduct random check on vehicles during their checkpoint operations at night.

Aside from that, Alonz said that they are also monitoring the bars to find out if they comply with the 2-a.m. liquor ban. A couple of bars and restaurants here had already been issued a citation for violating the regulation, according to Alonz.

The decrease doesn’t mean, however, that people are drinking less, according to Alonz, rather, it means people are now more careful.

“If they drink, they usually asked for a driver and we even offer to drive people [to their homes] if they can no longer drive due to [drunkenness],” Alonz said.

Alonz even urged bar and store owner to cooperate with the law enforcers, explaining that if a person is already drunk, bars should no longer serve them with alcohol even when the alcohol ban does not yet apply.

“They (bars and store owners) are pretty much in compliance with the law except for a few stores that sell alcohol after 2 a.m.,” Alonz shared.

The BPS had previously told the media that they are intensifying sobriety checkpoints this summer. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)