As the year winds down and we find ourselves in the midst of the busiest holidays for traveling, we will likely see a variety of different sobriety checkpoints being performed across the nation. These checkpoints are performed in predetermined locations and allow law enforcement officers to stop vehicles to check whether drivers are impaired.
Checkpoints have become harder to apply as social sharing platforms have allowed for some users to share where checkpoints are located. This is dangerous to public safety as it allows drivers who are impaired to avoid detection more easily. Drivers who are caught drunk driving have driven on average 80 times pervisouly while impaired by alcohol. People who share where drunk driving checkpoints are could be aiding in fatalities by increasing the chances that drunk drivers go undected. Learn more about the ethical implications of social sharing platforms and DUI checkpoints.
Effectiveness of checkpoints
Though not performed in every state of the United States, only 38 states currently conduct them, these checkpoints have been proven to decrease alcohol-related injuries and property damage, saving lives and money in various communities nationwide. In 2002, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention performed a systemic review of 11 sobriety checkpoint studies and quantified that these checkpoints reduce alcohol-related injuries and property damage by about 20 percent.
More recently, in 2011, a study was performed that examined the exact effectiveness of 22 DUI checkpoints orchestrated over one year in 2011. The conclusion of this study found that the rate of impaired collisions in post-checkpoint periods was about 19 percent less than in the pre-checkpoint periods. Studies like the two referenced above are just two exemplars of the boon provided by these checkpoints.
Even the costs associated with these checkpoints hold positive returns to local communities. As mentioned in this sobriety checkpoint fact sheet released by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), research has shown that for every dollar invested in checkpoints, these communities save between $6 and $23 in costs from alcohol-related crashes.
With all the benefits these checkpoints provide, whether it be reducing driving impairment rates or saving money in alcohol-related crashes, it is hard to find a reason against performing DUI checkpoints in local communities.
If you end up going through a DUI checkpoint in your immediate area and are asked to pull your vehicle over for inspection, remember all the positives listed above that they provide and how much safer the roads in that area are because of them.