Federal funding for sobriety checkpoints in Missouri ends in July

2 months 5 days 7 hours ago Wednesday, June 14 2017 Jun 14, 2017 Wednesday, June 14, 2017 11:29:00 AM CDT June 14, 2017 in News
By: Finley Walker, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - Many law enforcement agencies increase the amount of sobriety checkpoints as the Fourth of July holiday season approaches.

But since the General Assembly voted to cut state funding for sobriety checkpoints down from $20 million to just $1 starting July 1, many Missouri law enforcement agencies will significantly cut down on the number of checkpoints.

Republicans encouraged the budget cut, saying they were skeptical of the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints.

The money will go to other types of drunk driving enforcement, such as saturation patrols. Saturation patrols are different from sobriety checkpoints because instead of targeting an entire street to check for DWIs, departments send out officers into a wide area to look for people on the road showing signs of drunk driving.

Any law enforcement agency wanting to conduct a sobriety checkpoint will have to pay for it out of pocket.

Cole County Sheriff John Wheeler said this won't be an issue for his department because they haven't used a sobriety checkpoint in years.

"I think we did one about three years ago, two or three years ago," Wheeler said. "They’re really not as effective as they are sending those cars out and trying to find the ones that are breaking the law."

Wheeler said saturation patrols are not only more effective, but is also easier for the deparment.

"With the resources that I have, the sobriety checkpoints are just hard to set up. You have to have, I mean it’s very man power intensive. Then you also have to worry about, you have to follow the rules to do a sobriety checkpoint," Wheeler said. "It’s really a very technical thing to do, verses us just getting three to four guys together and saying okay today we’re going to hit [Highway] 54 between here and the county line."

Wheeler also said sobriety checkpoints are less effective now because of social media. People know about the checkpoints and know how to avoid them.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Executive Director Meghan Carter disagreed, saying part of the reason sobriety checkpoints work is because people are aware they're happening.

"It serves as a deterrent and as a reminder to everybody in the community that they’re going to be going out that evening," Carter said. "If they are going to be consuming alcohol, it’s a reminder to them that law enforcement is out there and to make a good plan to get home."

Carter also disputed claims that the reduction is a budget cut, saying the money was just moving somewhere else.

"When they said that it was a cost savings initiative, there was really no cost savings because, all in all, all they did was line an item out, and said well all you can have funding for is $1 for sobriety checks," Carter said. "But that overall budget remained the exact same, $20 million."

Both Sheriff Wheeler and Carter agreed the biggest issue is people still driving on the roads after drinking.

"If you’re drinking and driving, you need to stop because you’re either going to hurt yourself or you’re going to hurt somebody else," Wheeler said. "Or one of my people are going to get you, and you’re going to spend a lot of money, and possibly some jail time."

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - With mid-Missouri preparing for the upcoming eclipse on Monday, Laws Observatory played host to an event made to... More >>
30 minutes ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 3:18:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former school bus driver in eastern Missouri has been sentenced to 20 years in prison... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:58:58 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With the eclipse nearly here, crews in Jefferson City were busy preparing for festivities Saturday. On... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:19:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in Eclipse Planning
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Confederate memorial in Kansas City was vandalized with graffiti overnight. Local media show someone... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 12:41:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's child abuse hotline now accepts out-of-state calls. First lady Sheena Greitens said she learned... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 11:06:17 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri will host and sponsor numerous events this weekend leading up to Monday’s total solar... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:58:00 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
CHAFFEE (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing murder conspiracy charges for allegedly trying to hire a hit man... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:55:54 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — In towns and cities along the path of the solar eclipse, some school districts are seizing... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:47:03 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters will be hitting the street with their boots in their hands. Columbia Fire Department will... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 5:00:00 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Helias Catholic High School won’t have to borrow Jefferson City High School’s stadium anymore after it opened... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:18:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri State Parks officials say they can't verify that solar eclipse glasses the agency sold meet... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Eclipse Events
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys for a Missouri man convicted of killing a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter 19 years... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:30:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Seth MacVittie, 36, of Fulton, is under investigation of escape from the Callaway County Jail Friday. ... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:07:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - The man shot and killed at a trailer park outside the Sedalia city limits Thursday afternoon has... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 5:12:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: The suspect is now in custody and was processed in the Boone County Jail Friday evening. ... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:16:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two U.S. senators from Kansas and Missouri say an emphasis on protecting the nation's food supply... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:11:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
FULTON - Dr. Benjamin Ola Akande stepped down as the 21st president of Westminster College Friday to pursue jobs in... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:03:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Continuous News
BOONE COUNTY – Attorney General Josh Hawley’s voting in the special election on Aug. 8 is being called into question.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 3:35:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 89°
4pm 89°
5pm 89°
6pm 88°
7pm 85°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
LPGA Tour Golf
5:00p
Jeopardy!
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
3:00p
Rookie Blue
4:00p
Rookie Blue
5:00p
Cops Reloaded

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld