JPD Cracks Down on Drunk Driving
About 1 in 3 traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. This weekend, the Joplin Police Department cracks down, increasing its presence on the streets.
The JPD kicks off its DWI enforcement campaign for the year with a sobriety checkpoint on 7th Street, a location that historically has seen a lot of drunk driving arrests.
“These checkpoints are incredibly successful. We get impaired drivers off the roadways were making an appearance on the roadways so people are seeing that we’re out here and hopefully they know that we’re serious about impairment and we’re not going to tolerate it,” says Sergeant Jared Delzell with the JPD.
It starts with a few questions.
“We’ll see anywhere from 800 to 1,000 cars in the window while we’re out here officers are asking the drivers just to see their driver’s license and their insurance card the contact on those average about 20 seconds and if they don’t see any type of impairment in the vehicle then those folks are on down the road and free to go,” says Delzell.
Those who admit to drinking or who police suspect could be impaired undergo a field sobriety test, 17 people doing so on Saturday night. Those who fail are arrested and taken to jail. Five out of 6 arrests made at the checkpoint being DWI’s.
Now that it’s officially spring, police are prepared for more traffic on the roads.
“We start seeing warmer weather right now and more people get out and we’re just trying to be visible and just show that we’re out there and we’re looking for impaired drivers and we want to keep our roadways safe,” says Delzell.
Despite a low of 28 degrees on Saturday night, Joplin residents still find reasons to go out and drink.
“I came out to sing some karaoke with my daughter,” says Marta Johnson.
“To party, it’s my birthday,” says Cindy Henson.
“I work out a lot so I don’t drink too much so it’s one of my cheat days,” says Logan Smith.
Police say regardless of the reason, those who then get behind the wheel will face consequences. They contacted 1,073 drivers on Saturday, issuing 14 total tickets and 26 warnings. Mothers Against Drunk Driving also helps to put on the sobriety check point and the Police Department plans to do other checks this quarter.