Public Reactio to Drunk Driving Enforcement

We are fortunate to have a guest post today by Beckley Mason. Thanks for the information Beckley!

Though efforts of organizations like MADD have been successful at changing a culture of permissiveness surrounding drunk driving, we still see a number of drunk driving related cases each year. That�s why I find the comments section of The ClayCord can provide an interesting perspective how local residents near the GJEL Bay Area offices react to DUI checkpoint enforcement. On Saturday the 21, between 9:30PM and 3:30AM, the Concord Police Department used a well-signed DUI check point. Before I get into the reactions, here were the reported results.

� 683 drivers passed through the screening
� 7 DUI Suspects were Arrested
� 13 Vehicles were Impounded
� 11 Unlicensed/Suspended Drivers
� 1 Warrant Arrest made
� 1 Arrest for possession of a controlled substance

While the other arrests and impounds probably improved safety, the object of the stop was to catch drunk drivers. While removing 7 drunk drivers from the road is a worthy end, only one percent of the drivers were judged to be intoxicated. Was that worth the imposition to the other 700 drivers?

Taking a look in the comments section, that endless source of anonymous complaining, found mixed reactions. Some people complained that the stop had been in the wrong place, but most of the people who weren�t happy with the result were ticked off because they believed the stops amounted to illegal search and seizure. However in California, these stops are legal. In fact, the Concord department has received federal grants for the kind of programs they use to stop drunk drivers.
Though it�s a bit besides the point, it's quite possible for intoxicated drivers to avoid the stops altogether if they so choose. As one commenter put it, "He just drove past 6 huge sobriety Checkpoint signs, 4 lighted traffic signs, 150 orange cones, 3 Sheriff trailers, 7 motorcycle cops. The movie set of the Blues Brothers would have been less conspicuous!"

Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving Virginia, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Staunton, Waynesboro


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