Federal funding for sobriety checkpoints in Missouri ends in July

2 years 8 months 4 days 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
JEFFERSON CITY — Former U.S. Attorney General and former Missouri governor John D. Ashcroft is defending current Attorney General William... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 8:10:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
A new study shows a substantial number of young adults are starting college feeling depressed or anxious. The study... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 7:45:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Officials announced their plan on Dec. 5 to transfer ownership of the Boone County Fairgrounds to... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 7:24:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, (AP) — Missouri is the only state without a statewide database to track prescription opioids, and it's unclear... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 5:17:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - Ashland chief of police Lyn Woolford has filed a lawsuit against the city of Ashland and its mayor,... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 4:47:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A new Missouri Senate bill would require judges to have hearings to certify whether or not to... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 4:02:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
TUSCUMBIA, Mo. — A former seventh-grade teacher in central Missouri has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for providing... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 3:49:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council is meeting Monday afternoon to discuss new polices on trash pickup. During their Pre-Council,... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 3:21:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
FERGUSON (CNN) - An off-duty Ferguson police officer was shot multiple times when he confronted a shoplifter at a Walmart... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 2:42:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Medicaid enrollment in Missouri has both lawmakers and citizens concerned. The state has dropped more than... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 2:29:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who was driving a boat when a... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 12:21:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -- A man charged with shooting at an Ashland Police officer will be going to court tomorrow on charges... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 10:28:00 AM CST February 17, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Members of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri will spend two days at the capitol,... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 7:34:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Members of Rock Bridge High School’s Students Demand Action group hosted a forum Sunday where local leaders answered... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 7:07:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
LACEDE COUNTY- One teen died and three others suffered injuries in a single-car-accident Saturday afternoon. The driver of the... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 5:48:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
VIENNA- On Thursday, February 13, Task Force Officers, Vienna Police Department, and the Maries County Sheriff’s Office executed a search... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 4:43:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (AP) — Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting last week, and authorities... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 4:00:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
HALLSVILLE- A house fire broke out off North Frink Road Sunday afternoon. Firefighters found a fire in the attic... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 2:19:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
11pm 44°
12am 41°
1am 39°
2am 38°