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Deputies honored for DUI arrests

Three Pasco deputies were honored in Tallahassee last week for going the distance in getting drunken drivers off the road.

Each of the 80 winning deputies from around the state arrested at least 100 drivers in 1994 on charges of driving under the influence.

Pasco's winning deputies, who work in the Specialized Traffic Enforcement Program, are Denton R. Steele, who arrested 126; Steven R. Greiner, who arrested 113; and William K. Jackson, who arrested 112.

All three Pasco County deputies traveled to the state Capitol Courtyard on Wednesday to accept the plaques they won.

The top agent in the state Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco was praised for arresting many store clerks who sold alcohol to minors.

This is the second year Mothers Against Drunk Driving has sponsored the awards ceremony in conjunction with National Sobriety Checkpoint Week. Both events are meant to raise awareness about drinking and driving during a holiday weekend notorious for car accidents involving alcohol use, said Judy Alexander, executive director of Florida MADD.

In total, the 80 officers arrested 11,970 drivers in 1994 for driving under the influence. Alexander said she hoped the recognition of these officers would encourage more to reach _ or surpass _ 100 DUI arrests.

"We always feel like we can get the laws passed," Alexander said, "but if we don't have law enforcement, we wouldn't be able to get anything done."