During the entire month of October, St. Louis County Police Highway Safety Unit and Division of Patrol officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints. Officers who received extra training regarding the effects of illegal drugs and alcohol will check motorists to reduce the number of intoxicated and impaired drivers on streets and highways, including in Hazelwood.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said checkpoints have been an effective method for improving public safety. Officers also will issue citations for seat belt and other violations.
"We conduct checkpoints almost every month of the year as part of our efforts to reduce alcohol-related crashes," said St. Louis County Highway Safety Unit Sgt. David Stuckmeyer.
He said about 30 percent of driver fatalities are alcohol-impaired.
Stuckmeyer said at a checkpoint, every vehicle is stopped and the driver contacted by a police officer. "If the driver is suspected of being intoxicated, a 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 or criminal offenses are discovered."
In 2011, Stuckmeyer said St. Louis County Department police officers conducted 28 sobriety checkpoints, resulting in:
- 176 Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrests
- 23 felony arrests
- 31 drug offenses
- 32 fugitive arrests.
In October 2011, two checkpoints were conducted, resulting in 22 DWI arrests, Stuckmeyer said.