Monday, June 15, 2009

Wishful thinking comes at a big price tag for California DUI checkpoints - better alternatives than in existence

In today's world, people who go through California DUI checkpoints are generally in a hurry and they're frustrated by the intrusiveness and infringement of their rights & liberty.

California DUI checkpoints cost about $10,000 and roving patrols cost a mere $300. So budget-conscious folks question the effectiveness of DUI checkpoints.

California DUI officials agree California DUI drivers are a problem, but they can't agree on how to decide on a way to solve the California DUI problem.

One thing is clear - the cops better follow the law when it comes to checkpoints.

DUI cops claim they work because drivers do not know where they are scheduled, calling it the "fear of the unknown."

But the American Beverage Institute restaurant trade association believes checkpoints are an ineffective method in preventing DUI fatalities.

Primary reason: DUI cops are pulled off the street and stand in one spot in hopes the drunk drivers come to them. There are a number of reasons why checkpoints don't work because most California DUI drivers simply go around them.

There's other alternatives to stop drunk drivers from driving the roadways: roving California DUI patrols and California Drunk Driving education.

What's wrong with the idea of putting officers on the streets in their patrol cars so they can be looking for dangerous activity like speeding cars and distracted, drowsy or drunk drivers?

California DUI cops maintain checkpoints are more successful at increasing public awareness and deterring drunk driving. Saturation patrols are more successful at capturing drunk drivers, but less effective at educating the public. Among their unsubstantial reasons are: 1) a great education opportunity - if 2,000 people pass through a checkpoint, then the California DUI cops are able to make contact with those 2,000 people; 2) California DUI checkpoints show the public cops are out there.

California DUI police and CHP officers love DUI checkpoints, claiming the concentrated areas help catch a number of drunk drivers.

Last year Ontario California DUI police officers made 85 DUI arrests and 57 other arrests while working state-funded checkpoints through federal money and DUI saturation patrols. The department arrested 777 drunk drivers citywide last year, an increase from 744 DUI arrests the previous year.