A holiday sobriety checkpoint setup by Sarasota County deputies doesn’t seem to have been the best allocation of the counties resources. The deputies spent four hours stopping every car going south on U.S. 41 but when all was said and done, there was just one DUI arrest made. The results of the Sarasota checkpoint seem to back up national statistics that say only about 2% of drivers stopped at checkpoints are later arrested on drunken driving charges.
According to Todd Ruger’s article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight has made DUI arrests a priority and the number of DUI arrests has increased in Sarasota. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Wendy Rose said the checkpoint was a success because one DUI arrest out of 633 cars stopped means there are fewer drunk drivers on the road and that is the ultimate goal.
Critics of checkpoints say that police departments would do a much more effective job of getting drunk drivers off our roads with roving patrols compared to the stationary checkpoints. The American Beverage Institute says police patrols are three to 10 times more likely to catch dangerous drivers as compared to DUI checkpoints.