CONWAY P.D. TO CONDUCT SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT

by Christian Mower on September 5, 2012

CONWAY POLICE SAY THEY WILL CONDUCT A SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT IN CONWAY SOMETIME DURING THE WEEK OF SEP. 3, 2012.

LT. CHRIS PERLEY SAYS IT’S AN ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE DESIGNED TO CATCH IMPAIRED DRIVERS AND GET THEM OFF THE ROADS.

HE CALLS THE CHECKPOINTS – WHICH ARE ESSENTIALLY ROADBLOCKS WHERE VEHICLES ARE STOPPED AND CHECKED – EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT. MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE SAYS THEY RAISE AWARENESS OF THE DANGERS OF DRIVING WHILE DRUGGED OR INTOXICATED.

PERLEY SAYS THE PROGRAM IS PAID FOR BY FEDERAL GRANT MONEY PASSED DOWN TO LOCAL TOWNS LIKE CONWAY FROM THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.

POLICE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO NOTIFY THE PUBLIC OF THE GENERAL TIME FRAME IN WHICH THE CHECKPOINT WILL TAKE PLACE. PERLEY SAYS MAKING THE INFORMATION PUBLIC ACTUALLY HAS A PREVENTIVE EFFECT.

HE SAYS DURING THE LAST FIVE YEARS, ON THE EVENINGS OF THE CHECKPOINTS, TAXI CABS ARE FULL OF PEOPLE WHO SHOULDN’T BE DRIVING AND LOCAL BARS HAVE FULL PARKING LOTS BECAUSE THEIR PATRONS HAVE GOTTEN A DESIGNATED DRIVER TO TAKE THEM HOME OR THEY HAVE CHECKED INTO A NEARBY HOTEL.

PERLEY SAYS ANOTHER BENEFIT IS THAT POLICE WILL TYPICALLY STOP AND APPREHEND A FEW DRIVERS WHO ARE IMPAIRED, MAY HAVE A SUSPENDED LICENSE OR ARE ACTUALLY WANTED BY AUTHORITIES IN CONNECTION WITH SOME OTHER INCIDENT.

PERLEY HOPES THE ULTIMATE EFFECT OF THE CHECKPOINT IS TO MAKE DRIVERS THINK OVER THE LONG TERM ABOUT ALTERNATIVES TO DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED.

IN THE PAST, CONWAY POLICE HAVE TYPICALLY SET UP CHECKPOINTS ON A WEEKEND NIGHT ON A MAJOR ROAD IN CONWAY – SUCH AS ROUTE 16 – AND OPERATED FROM ABOUT 9 P.M. TO ABOUT 2 A.M. THE NEXT DAY.