U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) today sent the following letter to Deputy Bureau Director, Office of Justice Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA OJS), Darren Cruzan and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland requesting permission to retain a Breath Alcohol Testing mobile vehicle (BATmobile) in the BIA Great Plains Region to combat alcohol related offenses.
This summer, the BIA Great Plains Region, which includes South Dakota’s nine tribes, was loaned a BATmobile from the Rocky Mountain Region. The vehicle contains the newest breathalyzer technology and state-of-the-art blood-alcohol testing capabilities which were extremely helpful in establishing saturation patrols and preventing drinking related accidents. The BATmobile was also utilized as a mobile command unit during the fires on the Oglala Sioux reservation last month and proved to be a true asset to our tribal communities. The letter is supported by the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association, which passed a resolution echoing Senator Thune’s request to retain use of a BATmobile in the region.
The text of the Senator’s letter is below.
September 17, 2012
Mr. Darren A. Cruzan
Deputy Bureau Director
Office of Justice Services
Bureau of Indian Affairs
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
Mr. David Strickland
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Mr. Cruzan and Mr. Strickland:
I would like to thank you both for all of the work you have done at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Office of Justice Services (OJS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Over the last few years, tribal public safety and justice has continued to improve on many of our nation’s reservations, including for South Dakota’s nine tribes. However, we all know there is still more work to be done.
It is my understanding that this past summer the public safety departments in the Great Plains Region had access, and utilized, one of the two Breath Alcohol Testing mobile vehicles (BAT moblie) from the Rocky Mountain region. The Great Plains Region law enforcement offices have spoken so highly of its effectiveness in combating alcohol related offensives that they are requesting permission to retain one BATmobile in the Great Plains Region. Attached is a Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association resolution echoing this request. I believe it is imperative that the Great Plains Region has one of these vehicles in order to be proactive in the fight against drunk driving and improve safety on South Dakota’s roads.
Thank you once again for your continued leadership at BIA OJS and NHTSA. Your help on this matter is greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,Senator John Thune