Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign begins this weekend
Dover – Not all DUI’s are a criminal act. Take Dancing Under the Influence for example. Sure it’s not pretty, but it’s also not against the law. Driving Under the Influence, on the other hand, that’s illegal and not worth the risk. That is why the Delaware Office of Highway Safety along with law enforcement across the state are cracking down on impaired driving and launching the 14th Annual Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign this holiday weekend. Last year alcohol was involved in 47% of the 96 fatal crashes, which resulted in 47 individuals killed.
The first checkpoint of the season is scheduled for:
- Friday July 4th – Newport – (NcCo DUI Task Force) – checkpoint
Sobriety checkpoints will be scheduled to take place each month during the six month long Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign along with DUI saturation patrols. There will also be stepped up enforcement during peak holiday times including Labor Day, Halloween, and the month of December.
Fortunately Delaware has seen a decrease in the number of alcohol-related fatalities this year compared to this time last year. Seventeen (17) of this year’s 65 traffic deaths (26%) have been alcohol-related. At this time last year there were 50 fatalities and 50% involved alcohol.
The New Castle County DUI Task Force will again be conducting sobriety checkpoints throughout the county during the campaign. The DUI Task Force is comprised of officers from the Middletown PD, New Castle City PD, Newark PD, Newport PD, University of Delaware PD, and Wilmington PD. Delaware State Police will also participate and conduct checkpoints in New Castle and Sussex counties.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Ian McConnel conducted one swearing in ceremony for law enforcement participating in the New Castle County DUI Task Force this year. The swearing-in ceremony conducted by the Chief Deputy Attorney General provide the legal justification necessary to allow police officers to make DUI arrests in towns outside their own jurisdiction.
The campaign’s enforcement activities will be supplemented by an all new intense public awareness and education campaign that highlight the fact that there are several types of DUI’s many individuals might fall victim to, including Dancing Under the Influence, Dating Under the Influence, and Dialing Under the Influence, but individuals who decide to Drive Under The Influence are not victims and are committing a criminal act. Paid messages will be placed on T.V., radio spots, billboards, print, online, Pandora, movie theater ads, store floor clings, and website www.DUIRealTime.com. Paid messages will also be included in Spanish print and radio ads. OHS will continue to tally the total number of DUI arrests made each week in Delaware and display the total on billboards in New Castle County and Sussex County and on the website DUIRealTime.com. OHS’s corporate partners will also receive flyers, posters, and table tents to display and help spread the message.
Those convicted of a first time DUI offense in Delaware may spend up to 1 year in prison, and will lose their license, attend an 8-week DUI treatment class and pay thousands of dollars in court, treatment, DMV, and lawyer’s fees.
Checkpoint Strikeforce is a regional sobriety checkpoint campaign aimed at arresting DUI offenders by using high visibility enforcement to deter those who would otherwise choose to drink and drive. The campaign is a six month long effort coordinated locally by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety and involves setting up weekly DUI checkpoints & patrols statewide. Delaware had 4,922 DUI arrests statewide for 2013.
For a list of DUI checkpoints in your area text CHECKPOINT to 99000 or for a list of cabs text TAXI to 99000. More information and resources on Checkpoint Strikeforce can be found at www.ohs.delaware.gov, www.DUIRealTime.com. Follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe, Facebook www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE, and subscribe to YouTube channel DelawareOHS.