At first glance, it looks a lot like a drunken driving sting.
Police waiting in a parking lot, looking for drunk people – especially the ones headed toward a car with keys in their hand.
A police officer pulls them aside and asks if they’re too intoxicated to drive, and how they’re planning on getting home.
“At first, they think this is a joke. Something’s up. They’ll say, ‘You’re trying to trick us,’” says Chief Michael Crowley, head of Alcohol Beverage Control law enforcement in Mecklenburg County.
But, officers with Operation Safe Streets aren’t arresting people.
Instead, a team of about a dozen police officers work in pairs around Mecklenburg County to stop people before they drink and drive. Police officers identify themselves, tell people they are not under arrest and will even help them pay for a ride home if they don’t have money.
Operation Safe Streets has prevented 600 people from driving …