Sunday, June 10, 2012

DUI Check Point On Interstate - No Justifying Results

I have a problem with DUI Checkpoints on Interstate Highways.  The inconvenience that it places on Law Abiding Citizens when Law Enforcement jams up traffic is not worth the results that are being reported.  The DUI Checkpoint conducted by the Platte County Sheriff's Department and the Missouri Highway Patrol on Interstate 435 at 45 Highway has been reported to have stopped and checked only 691 vehicles between the hours of 10pm and 2am on a Friday night.  KMBC Channel stated that 1,200 cars were stopped in their report of the incident.  What was the results of this DUI Checkpoint?

6 - DUI Arrests
2 - Misdemeanor Drug Arrests
3 Misdemeanor Warrant Arrests

1 - Driver's License Summons
4 - Non-moving Violations
43 - Warnings

Out of 691 cars stopped at this checkpoint, 11 arrests were made, 5 tickets were issued, and 43 warnings (likely seat belts) were given out.  These numbers are nothing in comparison to the numbers that are normally netted when a DUI checkpoint is set up on a main street of a City, and you don't chance the hazard that come from backing up traffic on an Interstate.

What hazard am I talking about?  How many times have we listened to traffic reports about an accident on an Interstate and then listen to how there are one or two accidents that have taken place in the traffic backup?

Now, KMBC reported that no vehicles were stopped between 10:30pm and 12:30am due to heavy traffic, but a precedence has been set.  How long will it be before we see DUI Checkpoints on Interstate 70 between I-435 (Missouri) and Blue Springs?  What about I-435 between the State Line and I-35?  Heavily travelled K-10 between Lenexa and Lawrence?  Are the low numbers netted at such check points worth the inconveniences visited upon Law Abiding Citizens.  Are they worth the hazard they can create?

And let's face facts.  Legal Limits regarding Alcohol and Driving are becoming more and more controversial.  The limits are being lowered to the point that the average person cannot have a single drink and legally drive.   How many of the 6 DUI arrests were actually intoxicated?  Just because someone has a certain level of alcohol in their system does not mean that they are impaired.

No, I do not support drunk driving.  No, I do not drink and drive, in fact, I rarely drink.  But there has to be a point of reason in the laws of our communities.  There has to be that point of reason where the enforcement of laws for the good of all do not infringe on the safety and freedoms of others.  DUI checkpoints on Interstates have to potential of infringing on both.