Posted: Nov 14, 2012 5:49 PM by John Reger
Updated: Dec 6, 2012 10:47 AM
Tonight's Good Question is about the benefits of DUI checkpoints.
The question is: If DUI checkpoints don't catch many lawbreakers, why do the police set them up? Good Question.
It costs about $6,000 to run a checkpoint, usually with 8 officers and 1 records clerk. The money comes in federal grants.
The last checkpoint in San Luis Obispo was over the Fourth of July holiday. 1,368 vehicles went through; 684 were stopped and screened; there were 12 citations for suspended or no license, and 3 DUI arrests.
The next night in Santa Maria, 1,750 vehicles went through a checkpoint, 217 were screened, there were 11 citations for suspended or no license, but no DUI arrests. Bottom line for the holiday: $4000 per DUI arrest.
The checkpoints are announced to the public in advance, which might seem counter-productive. But the real goals of the checkpoints are to deter potential drunk drivers, promote public safety and raise awareness of drinking and driving dangers.
Santa Maria Police say alcohol-involved crashes drop 20 percent when checkpoints are frequent and well publicized.
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