Federal funding for sobriety checkpoints in Missouri ends in July

1 week 6 days 23 hours ago June 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017 Wednesday, June 14 2017 Wednesday, June 14, 2017 11:29:00 AM CDT 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
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City, Missouri , man is jailed on $150,000 bond after being accused of a... More >>
1 hour ago June 28, 2017 Jun 28, 2017 Wednesday, June 28 2017 Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:43:53 AM CDT in News
CHARLESTON (AP) — A judge has dismissed an assault charge against a southeastern Missouri sheriff being investigated in the death... More >>
1 hour ago June 28, 2017 Jun 28, 2017 Wednesday, June 28 2017 Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:22:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - As construction continues in the downtown area, workers are finding it difficult to be around. "It's making... More >>
15 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 7:57:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA -The City of Columbia Public Works Department held an informal open house Tuesday, giving people a chance to ask... More >>
15 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 7:38:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is investigating four burglaries this month in the Elm Tree area. Homes... More >>
15 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 7:13:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Th e Missouri Supreme Court says it's constitutional to commit sex offenders to secure confinement after... More >>
17 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 5:23:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Sheriff's detectives arrested a 20-year-old Jefferson City woman Tuesday in connection with a shooting that wounded two... More >>
17 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 5:04:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri appellate judges are reinstating descriptions of initiative petitions against right to work laws that were... More >>
18 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 4:50:02 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The "21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force" will meet for the first time Wednesday afternoon at... More >>
18 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 4:35:00 PM CDT in News
MONETT (AP) — A substitute teacher in southwe st Missouri has been ch arged with having sexual contact with a... More >>
18 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 4:30:41 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – A proposed port in Jefferson City is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Callaway... More >>
18 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 4:22:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - NAACP supporters rallied at the state Capitol to ask Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens not to sign the... More >>
19 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 3:58:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Foundation for Health has awarded $700,000 toward the planning, construction and programming of the planned agriculture... More >>
19 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 3:30:00 PM CDT in News
VERSAILLES (AP) — The Missouri state trooper who had a man die while in his custody pleaded guilty Tuesday to... More >>
20 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 2:41:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri senators won't reconvene until at least after the July 4 holiday to consider legislation on... More >>
20 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 2:08:26 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY — A manhunt for a suspicious person call ended in an arrest just east of Kingdom City. ... More >>
21 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 1:22:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia Police officers arrested Joshua Michael McWilliams, 23, of Columbia in reference to Monday night's shots fired call.... More >>
22 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 12:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Have you heard the news? A total solar eclipse is heading to mid-Missouri! Join KOMU 8 as we... More >>
22 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 12:19:00 PM CDT in Eclipse Science
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
11am 80°
12pm 83°
1pm 85°
2pm 86°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots: Forever Young
8:00p
The Carmichael Show
8:30p
The Carmichael Show
9:00p
This Is Us
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld