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Why “checkpoints’ are not a cost-effective and make us less safe?
The ostensible reason for DUI checkpoints is a “good reason” , to remove drunk drivers from the roads. So why are they not cost effective and make us less-safe?
Law enforcement has does and will continue to arrest drunk drivers without checkpoints. A tiny fraction of drunk driving arrests and convictions are the result of checkpoints.
Law enforcement can easily observe an intoxicated driver by observing the traffic as it moves. They are trained to do this! A vehicle moving at speed driven by an intoxicated driver is far easier to detect than one driven in stop and go who slides their drivers license through a slightly rolled down window while looking ahead.
Eighteen deputies manning ONE checkpoint observe only one-eighteenth of the number of vehicles that would be observed by the same eighteen deputies watching traffic on eighteen different streets, and yes, they have eighteen assigned to one checkpoint!
So then why the checkpoints? Doesn’t the Sheriff’s Dept know best how to assign deputies to apprehend drunk drivers? Answer: Because it’s not about drunk drivers, it’s about the money! The Sheriff’s Dept. with the City, get grant money, from the State of Calif. who gets in from the Federal Govt. who got it from the taxpayer, to run ‘Checkpoints’, and only checkpoints, period. At a cost of upwards of $50,000 per night, these checkpoints cost the taxpayer a fortune! The Sheriff’s Dept. loves them because they get more money, more money for deputy’s paychecks, so the deputies love them. The politicians love them because they tell the unknowing constituents that “they are working to get drunk drivers off the roads”. In addition the checkpoints bring in additional revenue to the City and the Sheriff’s Dept whether it’s a “fix-it ticket’ that gets signed off, $17; to a driving without your glasses, that goes to warrant, $1,215.00; to a vehicle impound (lots of money for the tow yard!) to the DUI that brings in $8,000!
Opposing the checkpoints most certainly does not mean “supporting drunk drivers”, it means that we can do the math, and as the guy paying the bills, the taxpayer, we are being lied to, cheated and deprived of the public safely that he paid for! Note that we do not oppose the saturation patrols. Those patrols are both effective and do not violate our Rights.
According to the State of CA's Legislative analyst, seven out of eight vehicles impounded at checkpoints have nothing to do with DUIs. They are impounded for other reasons, typically held for thirty days, which results in their forfeiture to the TOW YARDS! The City gets $100 -$150 (depending on what they charge for a “vehicle release fee”, even when no ‘release’ occurs) the tow yard gets the vehicle for the cost of towing it a few miles and $40 to file a lien sale notice.
A Checkpoint manned by eighteen deputies, averages under two DUI arrests, and a gift of overtime for the deputies and a gift of sixteen other vehicles for the tow yards! To argue that we should have 18 deputies do what one deputy can do means that the citizens are denied the Public Safety of 17 deputies. As to the question of "If they stopped one drunk driver from killing someone..." then what is the answer to the question of "what about those who are killed by the drunk drivers that the 17 deputies who could have been out on patrol but were instead sitting at ONE checkpoint, failed to apprehend?"
Bruce Boyer, Chief Instigator,Bruce@Sonsofliberty.com