Operational Plan For Conducting Low-Staffing Sobriety Checkpoints

Function Glossary
These definitions are intended to serve as a guideline of basic responsibilities for personnel assigned to low-staffing sobriety checkpoints. Additional duties may be assigned or expanded, as dictated by jurisdiction and location needs.

Checkpoint Supervisor (CS)
Designated to coordinate all checkpoint activities per the department’s operational plan, including: briefing, staffing, operations, debriefing/evaluation, and overall supervision. The CS is additionally responsible for ensuring the safety of motorists and members participating in the checkpoint operation. These responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • manage and supervise site operations;
  • supervise proper site location and checkpoint performance;
  • answer motorists’ questions and/or complaints;
  • ensure checkpoint procedures are being performed and followed;
  • determine if checkpoint procedures necessitate changing sequence of vehicles stopped or moving the checkpoint location;
  • collect individual officers’ activities reports;
  • may act as screening officer, as long as the supervisor does not leave the site and is not prevented from performing essential supervisory duties.

Checkpoint Screening Officers
Responsible for stopping and screening vehicle operators, per the operational plan to determine driver impairment. These responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • appropriately greet vehicle driver (refer to Appendix A);
  • evaluate for impairment (refer to Appendix A);
  • conduct SFST (refer to NHTSA/IACP SFST Training Curriculum);
  • administer PBT, if applicable in jurisdiction (refer to Appendix A)
  • administer chemical test(s); applicable to the jurisdiction (refer to Appendix A);
  • evaluate drivers for other violations (refer to Appendix A);
  • inventory and tow vehicle(s) (refer to Appendix A);
  • reporting individual activity to checkpoint supervisors (refer to Appendix A).

Jurisdictions may consider the use of volunteers to perform ancillary duties required under the operational plan. Volunteers should be properly trained and briefed, and their safety carefully considered. Volunteers may include, but are not limited to:

  • MADD chapters;
  • SADD chapters;
  • auxiliary police;
  • volunteer fire fighters;
  • Enforcement Explorer posts;
  • Citizens on Patrol;
  • police cadets.

The volunteer’s responsibilities may include, but not be limited to the following:

  • vehicle counters;
  • non-law enforcement paperwork;
  • monitor and maintain sobriety checkpoint traffic control devices;
Reminder: Law Enforcement and public safety are the most important things to consider. Under no circumstances should these two elements be compromised.