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Readers' forum: Sobriety checkpoints ineffective

Published: Monday, Feb. 27 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Sobriety checkpoints — like the ones held in Utah — often fail to make even a single drunk driving arrest, despite stopping hundreds of vehicles ("Utah House votes to ban DUI checkpoints," Feb. 24). A 2009 University of Maryland study found that checkpoints don't have "any impact on public perceptions, driver behaviors or alcohol-related crashes, police citations for impaired driving and public perceptions of alcohol-impaired driving risk."

County police should employ roving — or saturation — patrols in which police patrol the roadways for dangerous drivers. State Supreme Court cases from both Pennsylvania and New Hampshire revealed that roving patrols caught 10 times more drunk drivers than checkpoints. According to the FBI "it is proven that saturation efforts will bring more DUI arrests than sobriety checkpoints." Patrols also stop distracted, speeding, aggressive and drowsy drivers because officers can catch them in the act.

Sarah Longwell

Managing director of the American Beverage Institute

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