Wednesday, August 11, 2004
The Steamboat Springs Police Department will hold a sobriety checkpoint this weekend as part of the statewide campaign to reduce drunken driving.
From 9 p.m. Saturday to 2:30 a.m. Sunday, the police will have sobriety checkpoints at six locations. Unlike past checkpoints that have remained in one spot for the entire night, Sgt. Rich Brown said this would be a roving one.
Three spots on U.S. Highway 40 -- between Trafalgar Drive and Anglers Drive, between Mount Werner Road and Walton Creek Road and between Downhill Drive and Riverside Center -- have been identified as potential checkpoint sites.
Checkpoints also could be set on Routt County Road 129 between Copper Ridge Drive and Downhill Drive, on Steamboat Boulevard near Clearwater Trail and on Mount Werner Road near U.S. 40.
"The whole intent of the checkpoint is to deter people from drinking and driving, and the major goal is to reduce fatal crashes," Brown said.
No special events caused the police department to pick this weekend for a checkpoint, Brown said, but the weekends and summer months have the highest number of people arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
"We want to encourage people to drink responsibly and plan for alternate transportation. That is the thing we want to stress," Brown said.
If people plan to drink this weekend, Brown said, they should plan to ride the free bus, take a taxi or have a designated driver.
Last year, the police department held one sobriety checkpoint Aug. 9. That checkpoint was on U.S. 40 between Trafalgar Drive and Anglers Drive.
During the night, 660 vehicles passed through the checkpoint and 10 drivers were asked to do roadside maneuvers.
Of those 10 drivers, two were arrested on suspicion of DUI and another two were arrested for driving while ability impaired.
The checkpoints are funded through grants from the Colorado Department of Transportation Law Enforcement Assistance Fund.
More than 120 DUI checkpoints are planned throughout the state this summer.
Brown said another DUI checkpoint is planned before the end of the year.
Drivers should keep in mind that, in July, the statewide law changed, lowering the DUI threshold to 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content.