Maybe it's time for Parkersburg to rethink checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints - like the one this past weekend - often make few (if any) drunken driving arrests, despite law enforcement officers stopping hundreds of vehicles (Two arrested at sobriety checkpoint).
A 2009 University of Maryland study found that checkpoints don't have "any impact on public perceptions, driver behaviors or alcohol-related crashes, police citations for impaired driving and public perceptions of alcohol-impaired driving risk."
Local police should employ roving - or saturation - patrols in which officers patrol the roadways for dangerous drivers. State Supreme Court cases from both Pennsylvania and New Hampshire revealed that roving patrols caught 10 times more drunken drivers than checkpoints.
According to the FBI, "It is proven that saturation efforts will bring more DUI arrests than sobriety checkpoints." Patrols also stop distracted, speeding, aggressive and drowsy drivers because officers can catch them in the act.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sarah Longwell is managing director for the American Beverage Institute.