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Sobriety Checkpoints Coming This Week for St. Louis County

St. Louis County Police Department officers this coming week will participate in a stepped up effort to check drivers for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) to help curb holiday injuries and deaths.

Where have you last seen sobriety checkpoints in Chesterfield? You may be seeing them again soon.

St. Louis County Police Highway Safety Unit and Division of Patrol officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints throughout the month of December. St. Louis County Police media officer Randy Vaughn said specially trained officers will check motorists to reduce the number of intoxicated drivers on streets and highways. Inconvenience to motorists will be minimal, he said.

Chesterfield is covered by the 7th Precinct of the St. Louis County Police Department, who will participate in the 2012 Holiday DWI Enforcement Campaign Dec. 10-16 to stop people from driving impaired.

Vaughn told Patch the exact locations of checkpoints could not be revealed ahead of time.

Officers participating in the enforcement have had additional training in the recognition of motorists who have had too much to drink, or are under the influence of illegal drugs, stated St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch in an announcement about the upcoming checkpoints.

He said officers also will issue citations for seat belt and other violations.

"Removing intoxicated drivers from our roadways is a high priority for the St. Louis County Police. The use of checkpoints has proven to be an effective method to accomplish this goal," stated Fitch.

The Chesterfield Police Department will also be increasing its patrols. Chesterfield Police Capt. Steve Lewis told Patch that the department always ups its presence during this time of year. 

Vaughn provided the following, additional details:

  1. St. Louis County Police Department officers conduct checkpoints almost every month of the year as part of their efforts to reduce alcohol-related crashes. (About 30 percent of driver fatalities are alcohol-impaired).
  2. At a checkpoint, every vehicle is stopped and the driver contacted by a police officer. If the driver is suspected of being intoxicated, field sobriety testing is conducted. If the driver is not suspected of being intoxicated, they are allowed to proceed on their way (unless other traffic/criminal offenses are discovered).
  3. In 2011, St. Louis County Police Department officers conducted 28 sobriety checkpoints, resulting in 176 DWI arrests, 23 felony arrests, 31 drug offenses and 32 fugitive arrests.

To learn more about impaired driving, visit www.savemolives.com

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