Monday, June 22, 2009

Questions and complaints

C: DUI checkpoints of police should not be put in the paper. This only lets the drinkers avoid those roads. -M.S.

A: State police in Pennsylvania do not specify where the checkpoints will be, but only when they are conducting them. West Virginia's state troopers do specify the time and place of the checkpoints. We publish this information for the same reason we publish arrest and reports of crime and accidents: to inform the public what the police are doing at the expense of their tax dollars; and to distribute news, rather than rumor. If you see police stopping all cars at a road block, it is probably better to know they are fishing for drunks rather than, say, assuming they are hunting for escaped murderers.

Beyond that, the police want the public to know they are conducting checkpoints, because it discourages drivers from drinking in the first place. In West Virginia, the strategy might be to catch more drunken drivers by monitoring alternate routes around checkpoints.

1 comment:

Dale Lolley said...

It also serves as a warning for people who aren't drinking but may not want to sit through a checkpoint. They can take an alternate route.