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I have been posting DUI checkpoint locations for over a couple of years now. It has become a very controversial topic. The posting for this last weekend brought me the first comments I have ever received regarding this issue. Being that it is so important, I’ve decided to come to you for your opinion, as it concerns all of us.

Dean asks, “Why is KCRW posting about this? Might have to rethink my subscription if they are going to support drunk driving…”

Hi Dean. Of course KCRW does not support drunk driving, nor do I.
I have been touched personally by the tragic consequences of such actions. I have a very good friend; I’ll call him Tim. Tim was involved in a drinking and driving accident over a decade ago. Tim was in a coma for months. It was a miracle when he finally woke up. Tim’s prognosis wasn’t good. He would be a quadriplegic for life and suffered serious brain damage. He has worked very hard over the years and has regained some use of his arms. His brain function also has improved beyond all expectations. The driver of the car, Tim’s friend, was killed instantly. They weren’t even drunk, but they were buzzed. Hence the phrase “buzzed driving is drunk driving”, I believe to be true.

Initially I started posting DUI checkpoints because CHP and the LAPD released the locations of their checkpoints to the press. They encouraged us to publish and spread the word. The thought being if people knew that they were out in force it would discourage people from drinking and driving.

A comprehensive study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found, that when well-publicized sobriety checkpoints were conducted, alcohol-related crashes and fatalities decreased by more than 20 percent.
“Sobriety checkpoints are one of the most critical tools available for law enforcement to deter drunk driving,” said Mary Klotzbach, public policy liaison for MADD California. “Sobriety checkpoints send a message that if a motorist chooses to drive drunk, he or she will get caught.”

And from a traffic perspective, there can be a line of cars at a stand still for blocks and blocks. Which in turn affects traffic on the surrounding surface streets. Even the freeways can start backing up as some checkpoints have been stationed on streets just off an exit ramp.

That said, there is a new trend developing, and they (law enforcement) may be changing their position – though no official word has been said. They are posting specific locations less and less, and giving general areas instead. Some of the press are now only posting what officials provide. Others get information from not only officials, but other sources as well. Such as the drivers that are sitting in one of those DUI lines. And others wanting to avoid the whole controversy have stopped reporting the information all together.

It definitely has become a controversial topic. Especially after several senators -U.S.Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.)  tried and succeeded in stopping some apps, not all that listed DUI locations.

I too have wondered about posting such information. I am open, and really would love to hear your thoughts and those of all of my readers on this.

I will re-post this, so that it doesn’t slip through the cracks, and hopefully more people will see it and weigh in. The information “…that alcohol-related crashes and fatalities decreased by more than 20 percent”  is the reason I still post DUI checkpoints.

Thank you for your question Dean. It is an important one – a very serious issue that I don’t take lightly.

So I ask you, do you think DUI locations should be reported?

 

related story:
Dui Deaths Are At An All Time Low

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