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DUI Saturation Patrols More Effective Than DUI Checkpoints

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by NorthCarolinaLiberty, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    I’ll begin this thread by saying that a friend and co-worker of mine was killed in a drunk driving crash when I was much younger. We worked together in a small grocery store, which was my second job. The guy had the driest sense of humor I’ve ever seen. He was 21 years old and was survived by both parents.

    That accident happened years ago, but my wife and I still hate being on the road after 10pm with so many more drunks. I’m a good defensive driver, but it’s just easier to stay home and not bother with the hassle. These are two reasons why this topic is of interest to me.

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    The Madera California Police Department documented the number of DUI arrests resulting from both police checkpoints and saturation patrols in 2008. The results are taken from the document California Law Enforcement Challenge 2008, pages 18-19.

    Madera’s Avoid the 21 program publicized the efforts of both saturation patrols and checkpoints on TV and radio.

    11 CHECKPOINTS; 13 DUI Arrests; Average # of arrests is 1.1
    9 SATURATION PATROLS; 17 DUI Arrests; Average # of arrests is 1.8

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------


    And from Missouri:

    A recent Missouri saturation patrol yielded 20 DUI arrests in 5 hours. A DUI checkpoint in Missouri using similar manpower, funding, and time (like those used in this saturation patrol) will invariably yield far fewer DUI arrests (Source: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Jan. 2003).

    Many DUI checkpoints nationwide yield 0 drunk driving arrests. The checkpoints are simply police sitting in one spot interacting with mostly law-abiding citizens. A review of Maryland’s Checkpoint Strikeforce DUI campaign revealed that checkpoints are not a deterrent to drunk driving (Source: Health Promotion Reports, July 1 2009).

    Law enforcement in the St. Louis area should be commended for their hard work, diligence, and wise spending of funding in this saturation patrol effort. It is one more example showing how saturation patrols always perform more effectively than checkpoints. Now that's nice work keeping drunks off the road!



    24 arrests during weekend saturation patrol in St. Charles County By Shane Anthony

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    December 21, 2009



    St. Charles County Sheriff’s Lt. Craig McGuire called today with the results of this weekend’s DWI saturation patrol.

    McGuire said 20 officers from the sheriff’s department, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the St. Peters, St. Charles, O’Fallon and Cottleville police departments worked overtime shifts patrolling the eastern half of St. Charles County between 10 p.m. Saturday and 3 a.m. Sunday. The patrol area included O’Fallon and Dardenne Prairie, McGuire said.

    Officers made 24 arrests, McGuire said. Of those:

    20 were for driving while intoxicated.
    Three were for people wanted on outstanding warrants.
    One was for minor in possession of alcohol.
    Also, McGuire said, officers wrote 27 tickets for other driving violations.

    Sheriff’s Cpl. Travis Jones said officers did not seek warrants to draw blood, although three motorists refused blood-alcohol tests.

    Jones also updated the cost for the operation. He said his original estimate of $1,600 was only for the sheriff’s department. He said the estimated overtime cost for all officers was closer to $2,600, which will be covered by federal grant money.

    Jones said the ages of people arrested — except for the minor in possession charge — ranged from 23 to 48.
     
  2. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    No kidding. I've been saying that for years, ever since checkpoints came into vogue. Checkpoints are all about perception, not about performance.
     

  3. ede

    ede Bama's Friend

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    i thought that was common knowledge, but maybe not.
     
  4. CAcop

    CAcop

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    The grants that go out for DUI enforcement can have a certain # of checkpoints required for the money. We stopped doing them a few years back when only a few people wanted to stand for hours in the cold talking to people driving through and getting maybe a drunk or two. You could get the same results with a couple of officers vs. the dozen or so it takes to do a checkpoint.
     
  5. zenmanxxx

    zenmanxxx

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    The one thing the checkpoints in MD seem to do is make many more people use a designated driver.

    I have been through numerous sobriety checkpoints. I have not seen a drunk arrested yet. I did see some people get arrested for other violations though...outstanding warrants etc.

    The police here do hang around bars at closing time and make stops. This seems to be very effective.

    There is no need to drive while drinking in our area...perks are available to designated drivers...we have the Sober Ride program instituted on certain days that are known for heavy alcohol consumption. You get a free cab ride home (up to $50) on those days.
     
  6. GreenDrake

    GreenDrake Rip Lips

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    DUI Checkpoints are not legal in Idaho, however saturation patrols are more like the police sitting outside of the bars and just picking off offenders, so not much different.
     
  7. 9L82

    9L82 Caffeine Addled

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    They are not intended to net large numbers of arrests, they are intended to be an educational tool that allows officers to contact many more drivers than a saturation patrol ever could. There are three "e"'s in traffic enforcement. One is education (checkpoints and advertising), enforcement (saturation patrols) and engineering (Ignition interlocks and the like).

    You cannot expect a good outcome to any impaired driving campaign without looking at all three. When we do saturation patrols, we have about 20 contacts per officer (much fewer if he makes an arrest). Checkpoint normally yield 400-500, with 3 or 4 arrests. Different approach that yields a different outcome.

    Greendrake, I have no problem with sitting near a bar to pop drunks, I never saw the need to give them a fighting chance at killing someone.
     
  8. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    This whole ideology is just as ignorant as it is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    The police have a difficult job, arrest the people who have obviously committed crimes and put them in front of a judge.

    Everything else you just said is "shut up" stupid.
     
  9. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    I would have to sagely agree with you on this sir.

    'Drew
     
  10. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    I am glad to hear that someone is doing this. I have been suggesting this for years. The response that I usually hear from law enforcement is that they don’t want to be accused of picking on merchants and their businesses. This concentrated patrolling of an area with a history of lawbreaking however, is the very definition of a saturation patrol.

    The visibility of a saturation patrol (e.g., the day after Thanksgiving) will reach far more citizens for advertising than a checkpoint ever could. A checkpoint is visible to only a few hundred motorists, but a saturation patrol will alert thousands of motorists to a law enforcement presence.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
  11. 9L82

    9L82 Caffeine Addled

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    Then I guess you have data and statistics to back-up your opinion. We entrust the Supreme Court to analyze laws to make sure they are constitutional, until they decree that these checkpoints are unconstitutional, they will continue.

    Ignorance means a lack of knowledge or understanding about a subject. I gave you three strong examples of how traffic safety programs are formulated and have been proven successful. I also gave you the background of OVI checkpoints, you gave opinion (ignorance).
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
  12. 9L82

    9L82 Caffeine Addled

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    I would usually patrol the "bar district" unless I started getting an inordinate amount of drunks from one bar, then they got special attention. I don't advocate choosing a bar just because it is a bar, but a good cop better be in the area where crime occurs, especially during the times it is know to occur.
     
  13. groovyash

    groovyash

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    NCL,

    I could be wrong, but I believe you started almost an identical thread to this a few months ago with the same assertions. A number of officers including myself who have not only worked but coordinated checkpoints came in and explained that the purpose of a checkpoint is to deter intoxicated drivers from driving in a specific location at a specific time which has been extrapolated from data to be particularly high risk, not to make arrests. No different than having a saturation beat of walking officers to deter street crime in a certain area like the night life spots on weekends. Both are less effective at netting arrests than a vehicle patrol, but both are necessary tools as part of a multi part approach to stop a problem in a particular location at a particular time. You and others insisted this isnt the case, and that I and others did not know what our own intentions were in setting up checkpoints. Incidentally the opinion that the purpose is not to arrest but deter isn't just my own, but the court's, who have ruled them to be both constitutional and effective in this regard in spite of a ~1% arrest rate. I guess my point is, why beat a dead horse?

    EDITED TO ADD,

    NCL, you seem like a nice guy, and I'm not attacking you in any way. You are welcome to not like checkpoints, they do raise a number of constitutional issues which I can reasonably see could be argued. I'm just a bit puzzled why after you get several answers from the horses mouths so to speak, you continue to make a bit of a straw man argument about arrests, which are not, nor have they ever been, the standard for success in a checkpoint.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
  14. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    Groovy,

    Your point about arrests is well taken, but I am also addressing the checkpoint goal of education. This aspect was not addressed earlier. I maintain that this education goal is also a failure.

    DUI arrests at checkpoints was the original, stated goal when they began in the 1980s. The data started to come in about checkpoints showing that this arrest goal was failing. The goal then drastically switched to one of education.

    Many now acknowledge that arrests are not the goal of checkpoints. The stated goal is now education/advertising, but that goal is also failing. The analysis of Maryland’s checkpoint program (see above) shows that checkpoints will not deter drunks.

    A checkpoint is visible to only several hundred motorists, but a saturation patrol will be visible to thousands of motorists. I see many police cars the day after Thanksgiving, but never see a checkpoint. It doesn’t take a senior advertising executive to determine which method will have higher visibility and more deterrence.

    I am also not interested in receiving a checkpoint pamphlet about booze. I drink water and juice and that’s it. Go to the local high school if you must, but education at checkpoints is disingenuous. You are spinning your wheels and wasting taxpayer dollars talking to mostly law-abiding citizens.
     
  15. fwm

    fwm

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    I would too if they didn't use the "I saw you leave the bar" as an excuse to pull you over to see if you are drunk.

    My brother was pulled over twice after leaving a bar, the excuse was "weaving within your lane". The bar owner was a friend of his and they both had pet rattlesnakes and exchanged snake food and stories. Both times the only thing my brother had to drink was a Pepsi. (why he won't drink Coca Cola I don't know).
    In both cases the cops wanted to search his car to look for evidence of drinking, which he denied to them. (There wa nothing for them to find) After 20 min. they both had to realize he had not been drinking and were put in their place and backed down when he reminded them he was the nephew of a Clay County Judge that looked unhappily at cops that manufactured excuses to pull over people for 'fishing' expeditions.
     
  16. G33

    G33 Frisky! CLM Millennium Member

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    Should be cherry picking.
    :rofl:
     
  17. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    Courts have actually ruled the opposite concerning effectiveness. Courts in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania were particularly skeptical because they had data showing the ineffectiveness of checkpoints. This led to the many controls of abuses.

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled checkpoints okay, but that is only half the story. The court actually remanded the original Sitz case back to the state of Michigan. The U.S. Supreme Court left it up to states to decide if they will have checkpoints. Eleven states reject checkpoints, based either on statute or constitutional interpretation.

    My personal observation is that the tide is started to turn against these checkpoints. Citizens are raising awareness, and also are standing before checkpoints to warn oncoming motorists. This is happening in Port Angeles WA, Yuma AZ, Escondido CA, Pomona CA, Marble CO, Washington DC, and New Hampshire. There were 200 people warning motorists at a recent California checkpoint. I would bet that many people saved themselves a good chunck of cash because they didn't buckle their belt or forgot their license at home.
     
  18. bocephus549

    bocephus549 Bo Knows.......

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    Drinking and driving is illegal. Why do bars have parking lots?
     
  19. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    MADD's original slogan was Don't Drive Drunk. They reached their goal of getting many hard core drunks off the road, so they had to reinvent themselves. Their new slogan became Don't Drink and Drive. The founder of MADD, Candace Lightner, now speaks against MADD because the organization is simply against drinking alcohol.

    Some people refrain from drinking even one glass of wine at a restaurant because they are subject to the same checkpoint questioning as someone who is truly drunk. If a checkpoint officer smells that one glass of wine on your breath, then he has cause to send you to secondary checkpoint inspection.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
  20. noway

    noway

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    that's false... Drinking and Driving is not illegal. That's why we have set BAC levels.