LOW-STAFFING SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS
Sobriety Checkpoint Operations Plan
As with any sobriety checkpoint, the word spreads fast of the checkpoint location and motorists under the influence avoid these areas. This operation is designed to be set up in 15 minutes, taken down, and moved to another location within a minimal amount of time, usually 15-30 minutes. By completing this, motorists under the influence may see the sobriety checkpoint at one location and avoid this area in fear of being arrested. If the motorists later travel another road, they may encounter another checkpoint and later on another checkpoint on another roadway. Statistics from the Tennessee Checkpoint Operation have proven this a more effective way of discouraging motorists under the influence of drugs and alcohol to drive.
Time: 1900 - 0330 hours.
These times were selected because since the beginning of 2003 96 percent of all DUI arrests made by Jefferson County deputies were made during these times. This also correlates and parallels with data produced in national studies.
Date: May 30, 2004 (Sunday)
To comply with the law, a VMS sign will be placed on Ken Caryl Avenue just west of Chatfield Avenue for eastbound traffic. This will allow motorists to legally exit the highway onto South Simms Street, Chatfield Avenue and West Indore Drive before entering the sobriety checkpoint. One marked uniform motorcycle acting as a chase car will be placed at this location. One VMS sign will be placed just east of Kipling Street for westbound traffic. One marked uniform motorcycle will be placed at this location acting as a chase car. This will allow motorists to legally exit onto South Kipling Street and Continental Divide Road before entering the sobriety checkpoint.
One stationary sobriety checkpoint sign will be placed 100 feet west of Kipling Street on westbound Ken Caryl Avenue.
One stationary sobriety checkpoint sign will be placed on Continental Divide Road at the intersection of Ken Caryl Avenue.
One stationary sobriety checkpoint sign will be placed approximately 100 yards east of Chatfield Avenue on eastbound Ken Caryl Avenue.
The motorcycle officers’ responsibilities will be to watch for vehicles making inadvertent maneuvers to avoid the checkpoint.
Traffic will be maintained through both east and westbound traffic. Three contact officers at a time, per lane will be used looking for intoxicated drivers. If a suspected DUI is located, the driver will be directed off of the highway by the contact officer and onto the shoulder of the highway or into the blocked off number two lane. The contact officer will remain with the suspected intoxicated driver. If the contact officer determines that the person is not capable of driving the vehicle to the shoulder of the road the driver will be escorted from the vehicle and walked to the area where roadside maneuvers will be conducted. Another officer will then drive the vehicle to the shoulder of the road.
Patrol car spotlights will be the only lighting in the contact area. Contact officers leaving the contact area with their patrol cars will not leave until being relieved by another patrol unit that can illuminate the same area being vacated by the previous patrol unit. In the event generator-operated lighting (light towers) are used, special care should be taken so as not to blind any oncoming traffic.
Contact officers will be responsible for their own arrests. The only exception will be if the motorcycle or K-9 officers contact a DUI. In this case, an available contact officer will respond to pick up the suspected intoxicated driver. The motorcycle officer will complete a statement of probable cause for the stop and give it to the assisting contact officer. The contact officer will then proceed as if it were his arrest originally. If a driver is suspected of DUI, the driver will be taken into custody by the arresting officer and transported to the JCSO booking area. The driver’s vehicle will be searched incident to arrest and towed by the JCSO contract Tow Company. If a sober passenger is in the vehicle, the passenger may, with the driver’s permission, take responsibility for the vehicle. If the driver does not wish a passenger to take the vehicle, or the passenger(s) are unable to operate a motor vehicle, they will be taken to a nearby pay telephone that has a parking lot for safety. The motorcycle supervisor will make occasional runs through the parking lot to ensure the safety of these individuals. In no event will intoxicated passengers be allowed to leave on foot and in most cases these intoxicated passengers will be transported to the Arapahoe House for safety reasons.
Motorcycle officers responsible for traffic control/chase units will be placed at the junction of South Simms Street and Ken Caryl Avenue for eastbound traffic and South Kipling and Ken Caryl Avenue for westbound motorists. These officers will be responsible for monitoring the effect of the checkpoint on traffic at the two intersections.
Once the appropriate documents have been completed and served, the driver will be released to a sober adult or transported to the Arapahoe House. Copies of the documents generated will be forwarded to Sergeant Vette.
Contact officers, traffic control officers, and chase car positions are all interchangeable so everyone will have to be familiar with everyone else’s position.
Driver Contact Officers (Line) I Roadside Evaluations Officers will determine which drivers will be allowed through the pattern, and which will be directed to an evaluation area. Officers selected for this position should be familiar with the signs of intoxication and proficient in applying their knowledge. They will have a pre-rehearsed statement (i.e., “ I am Deputy/Officer (name) of the (name of department). You have been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint set up to identify intoxicated drivers), which they will recite to the drivers. Contact officers will base their decision to allow the driver through the pattern or to the evaluation area on the recognized signs of intoxication. Contact officer will not ask for driver’s licenses or any documentation. Any vehicle in which plain view observations of illegal activity (i.e., drug paraphernalia, etc.) are made will be directed to the evaluation area for further investigation. Contact officers directing drivers to the evaluation area will accompany the driver and continue the investigation in the evaluation area. Business cards may be given to motorists during the sobriety checkpoint.
Contact officers will be responsible for conducting sobriety examinations on drivers directed to the evaluation area. Officers selected for this role should be comfortable and proficient in the use of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. Contact officers should be equipped with portable breath test (PBT) instruments (where applicable), however the decision to arrest should not be solely based upon these instruments. The contact officers will place drivers who do not satisfactorily complete the examination into custody.
Traffic Control Officers will be required to slow and guide drivers into the traffic control pattern and to the approaching driver contact officer. Reserve officers can be used for this role.
Public Information Officer