He said the woman's blood-alcohol content registered 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit. More information about the grant-funded saturation patrols was not immediately available from county police Friday.
The officer was working on overtime funded by a federal grant to target drunken and aggressive drivers, he said.
The police chief said a memo to officers that called for two to four citations per hour contained, "in retrospect, not the best wording," and conceded that he "could see how it could be misinterpreted." He said the department does not use quotas and had revised the memo.
The memo also told the officers on the drunken-driving and aggressive-driving saturation patrols that they usually produce "at or above these amounts."
The federal funds come from the National Traffic Safety Administration to the state, according to Buel Young, a spokesman for the state Motor Vehicle Administration. Jurisdictions can apply for them.
"We stand side by side with Chief McMahon and Howard County police in verifying that there are no quotas associated with or are prerequisites for the use of NHTSA highway safety funding," Young said.