Weekend DWI checkpoint in Joplin results in 15 arrests

A big reminder about driving responsibly, a checkpoint at 7th and Illinois Streets in Joplin Saturday evening resulted in fifteen arrests.
The number of DWI checkpoints in Joplin will be increasing over the next few months.
Joplin Police pulled over more than twelve-hundred drivers at the checkpoint, looking for those driving while intoxicated.
One driver getting checked had just left prom.
“I’m skipping prom, we just think it’s going to be a lit bit boring, so we’re just going to go ahead and run around Joplin pretty much,” said Timothy Alderman.
Volunteers with Mothers Against Drunk Driving at the checkpoint say there is nothing wrong with skipping prom as long as it is done responsibly.
“Because in prom season they’re under the age of 21, they shouldn’t be thinking about drinking or drinking and driving,” said Gregg Freeman, MADD.
Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone.
“I know it happened, especially the class under me that got to come up with juniors or seniors to prom, they wanted to drink,” said Brittany Smith, student at MSSU.
Smith hopes students attending prom over the next weeks will make smart choices.
“There is a law for a reason and especially teens, you don’t want to ruin your life over something like this, and that’s exactly what it will do,” she said.
Spring and summer mean more on the roads for outdoor events and police say you will be seeing more checkpoints and officers on the streets, which some drivers say is more of a nuisance than a help.
“This is pretty annoying,” said Ryan Reynolds, Joplin resident.
Reynolds says it is not effective because young people often share the location of checkpoints on social media.
“It’s completely a waste of time and it’s not going to do any good because we could have turned off right there, there is a road right there that we could have turned off on and driven away,” he said.
But police are prepared for that. There are chase cars stationed near all checkpoints to pull over anyone who tries to avoid them.
Officials say just seeing a check point could be a preventative measure for those who will be partying at proms soon.
“There is somewhat of a scare factor in this, that they see that we’re out and proactive against drinking and driving, so it will deter them from doing it in the future,” said Seth Reineke, DWI Officer with the Joplin Police Department.
“It’s important every day of the week, not just prom season,” Freeman said.
If someone under the age of 21 is caught containing alcohol in his or her vehicle or has consumed alcohol, they will face a minor in possesion charge.
Officials say severalpossession checkpoints will be underway until August.
Another checkpoint is planned for next weekend.