Officials discuss new DUI policy - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Officials discuss new DUI policy

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Now that a proposed policy to deal with arrestees under the influence of alcohol or drugs has been introduced, several stakeholders gathered this morning to discuss not only how to implement it but other growing concerns as well.

It was last week when the Department of Corrections introduced a proposed policy to several law enforcement agencies that would require arrestees that are under the influence first be taken to the Guam Memorial Hospital to receive a medical clearance before being detained at the Hagatna Detention Facility.

Today, Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio spearheaded a gathering of stakeholders to further discuss the policy. "And Department of Corrections have had a couple of situations where the people who are entrusted to them were basically very high on alcohol or a drug and it started to become a life threatening situation so department of corrections is trying to protect and I applaud director San Agustin of his efforts to try and protect the taxpayers of the island from not having to pay for unnecessary expenses," he said.

As we reported, DOC is proposing the policy as a precaution because they do not have trained medical staff on duty to respond if an emergency arises. An issue the Lt. Governor and former police officer is fully aware of. "I think the Department of Corrections needs a more robust, medical function, more nurses, maybe to extend more medical services from a doctor after hours because right now its pretty confined to 8-5 for the most part Monday through Friday so we need to expand the capabilities of DOC to have a fully functional infirmary to meet the growing needs of the criminal justice system," he said.

The meeting included officials from DOC, Guam Police Department, the Judiciary of Guam, the Attorney General's Office, Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz and officials from GMH. He followed the meeting by speaking with the governor's chief of staff to discuss how to take all the input and make changes to the proposed policy in order to come up with a compromise all stakeholders could agree on.

"Because if we can put more focus on refining the policy to meet the liability concerns of the department of corrections while not putting not an unnecessary financial burden on the rest of the tax payers that makes the most sense I think," he said.

Tenorio adds there's $2.3 million owed between DOC and GMH currently and wants to find a way to shift some of those finances that will bolster capabilities to meet obligations of medical clearances along with having the screening process and treatment facilities at DOC as opposed to GMH. 

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