Aug 262004
 
Authors: Dave Curtis

As part of a national campaign, local law enforcement agencies

will coordinate their efforts to get drunken drivers off the

road.

This campaign, entitled “Driving Under the Influence National

Crackdown,” started last weekend and will run through Sept. 12.

As part of the crackdown, last weekend officers from the

Loveland Police Department, Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer

County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol and the CSU Police

Department ran two DUI checkpoints: one off of Pitkin Street and

College Avenue, the other on Lemay Avenue and Elizabeth Street.

Officer Jim Lenderts of Fort Collins Police Services was the

officer in charge for the weekend, and he headed up the checkpoint

at Pitkin and College.

“The goal at the checkpoint is to educate people.” Lenderts

said, adding that the checkpoints were not intended to arrest

people, but to get them home safe.

At 10 p.m. Saturday motorists passing down South College Avenue

were funneled into a parking lot just off Pitkin Street.

Three rows of cones moved the cars into one of three aisles each

flanked by five or six police officers. As the motorists drove

through, calls of “this one’s good,” and “check him” went up and

down each of the lines.

Once a car marked as “check” made it as far down the line as it

could go, an officer questioned the driver. If the officer decided

there was reasonable suspicion of alcohol use, the driver would be

asked to step out of the vehicle and perform a series of sobriety

tests.

If the driver was further implicated by his or her performance,

he or she was then arrested, issued a DUI ticket and given either a

blood test or breath test to determine his or her Blood Alcohol

Content.

A phlebotomist was on hand from Poudre Valley Hospital to

administer the blood tests, and volunteers from Mothers Against

Drunk Driving were also nearby to assist the officers by keeping

track of the arrested person’s keys and by providing food solicited

from businesses around the area.

Kim Munsterman, a MADD volunteer, said she was excited to be

outside helping the police officers and helping to educate local

drivers about the seriousness of drinking and driving.

“We’re not prohibitionists. We’re here to prevent the act of

drinking and driving,” Munsterman said.

All together, the two checkpoints brought 3,000 drivers through,

and 41 DUI arrests were made.

“All those people are going to go home and say, ‘Wow, those cops

take this drinking and driving thing seriously.’ Mission

accomplished,” Lenderts said.

Continuing the crackdown, this coming weekend in Weld County,

members of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado State

Patrol will participate in DUI saturation patrols in an effort to

remove drunk drivers from the road.

According to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, the DUI national

crackdown started last weekend as a way to control any activities

resulting from the New West Fest and to keep CSU’s student body

educated.

Pam McCracken, the director of the Center for Drug and Alcohol

Education at Hartshorn Health Service, said Hartshorn also has

plans to educate motorists about drinking and driving. It will be

providing RamRide coupons to Fort Collins Police Services so that

officers can hand them out to the drivers going through

checkpoints.

 


 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,

the average person who chooses to drink and drive does so 80 times

a year and it generally takes 240 of those trips behind the wheel

before he or she are caught.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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