DUI tree comes down at Nevada Highway Patrol in Reno

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) The Christmas tree has been in the lobby of Nevada Highway Patrol offices in Reno since December 10. You'd think it would have long since been put away, but look more closely.

This is what they call a DUI Tree, where the ornaments display the name of troopers who made DUI arrests from Dec. 10 to Jan. 10. The tree had 45 ornaments displayed, for 94 arrests.

“Any type of impairment where a suspected driver is arrested, an ornament goes on the tree. The number of lives that could have been saved, were saved by an arrest, are countless,” says NHP Trooper Matt McLaughlin.

McLauglin says more DUI crashes occur during the holidays than any other time of year.

This is the second year the tree has been on display at the NHP in Reno. The idea came from offices in Clark County, where the agency there had a DUI tree for years.

McLaughlin says most of the arrests came from the graveyard shift, where troopers work from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. He says the comments from the public who go to the offices in Reno have been mostly positive.

“The responses we get are nothing but complimentary. They appreciate the efforts of Nevada Highway Patrol, as well as law enforcement in general trying to keep people safe,” says McLaughlin.

As he takes down the ornaments, McLaughlin says they will be sorted and given to each of the troopers involved with the DUI tree. It's a reminder to them of the difference they made over the holidays in making the roads safe.