Labor Day has always been a festive occasion and there will be so many people on the road out to celebrate this weekend holiday. However, the police will also be around too, not to party but to arrest DUI or drivers high on booze. This is part of a national effort to keep roads safer on Holidays. Expect to meet random police checkpoints through Labor Day. There will be drug recognition experts, as well as State and local police. You will be arrested if you are found to have more drugs in the system when arrested for driving under the influence.
Lower Allen Township’s Lieutenant Greg Thomas said that a number of those tested are people who are on prescription drugs. According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation statistics, in the year 2011, there were over 3,079 drug-related crashes and 116 of these resulted to deaths. In the year 2012, the number increased with around 3306 drug-related crashes and 126 fatalities statewide.
During last Labor Day weekend, the police apprehended over 125 alcohol-related crashes with eight dead; and 30 drug-related crashes. Police stated that the bitter reality is that motorists involved in an alcohol-related crash are four times more likely to die in that crash.
Authorities believed that with a sobriety checkpoint, drivers are likely to refrain from DUI so alcohol-related crashes are reduced by around 20%. Therefore, every dollar spent in checkpoints save communities around $6 and $23 in costs from alcohol-related crashes
Pennsylvania is one of 38 states that installs sobriety checkpoints that results to the steady decreased of DUI-related fatalities. Last year, there were 404 compared to542 in 2004. However, the number of people arrested for DUI has leveled dramatically to 14,953 arrests last year compared to 5,529 in 2004. These data was issued by George Geisler of the Pennsylvania DUI Association that provides technical assistance to law enforcement officials.
Other research found that saturation patrols targeting a wider geographic area and searching for impaired drivers are more effect than checkpoints.
DUI lawyers and civil libertarians are questioning is sobriety checkpoints are violations of the Fourth Amendment. A civil-rights attorney from Philadelphia said that it is true that drunk driving is dangerous and should be curtailed. However, he believes that there are other more effective and constitutional way to deal with that rather than have officers on patrol sitting at a checkpoint.
A New Jersey DUI attorney also said that checkpoints using sobriety test to check DUI drivers is a run around was beating the Constitution. He thinks it is similar to Checkpoint Charlie.
According to the Safety Association of the Governors Highway, conducting sobriety tests at checkpoints are prohibited by12 states. Texas considered sobriety tests at checkpoints illegal under its interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
Jeff Rudd, who operates a subscription-based service that tracks checkpoints stated that law-enforcement agencies are supposed to announce checkpoints in advance but most of the time they don’t.
Rudd said that in Philadelphia they are having a hard time finding out the locations and times of checkpoints, and even the schedule when it will be held.
Source: Local News Com
Source: Articles Philly Com