Sobriety Checkpoint June 11, 2010

/

Tomorrow night, the Franklin County Ohio DUI Task Force is going to conduct a sobriety checkpoint on Riverside Drive (US 33) north of Zollinger Road in Northwest Columbus Ohio.  This checkpoint is likely to have similar statistics of every other Ohio DUI checkpoint.

The checkpoint will be announced publicly which is constitutionally mandated.  The location is a result of a high incidence of accidents and DUI arrests.  There will be warning signs of "Sobriety Checkpoint Ahead".  There will be a turn off road that motorists who do not wish to proceed through the checkpoint can utilize.  This is likely going to be Zollinger Road.  There will probably be several cruisers on Zollinger monitoring that traffic and looking for any signs of impaired driving. 

A motorist who chooses to enter a checkpoint will notice that not every vehicle is stopped.  As traffic slows down throughout the night, the officer in charge will increase the random checks of cars.  There will be a greeter who will hand each motorist information on Ohio's DUI laws and the checkpoint itself. 

There will be a second zone that vehicles may be diverted to for additional questions and investigation.  If one of the officers suspects a motorist is impaired, the officer will request the motorist to exit the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests.  Depending upon the motorist's performance on the roadside tests, an arrest for DUI / OVI may or may not be made.

The last checkpoint in Franklin County resulted in 600 cars passing through an no arrests.  It is amazing to me that law enforcement still uses checkpoints.  They are horrible at catching drunk drivers.  Nonetheless, there is federal money available for the DUI Task Force - either use it or lose it.  At the end of the day, law enforcement claims it increases awareness of DUI enforcement.  Most defense attorneys agree - it is easy money for officers to collect overtime.