Creve Coeur police set up DWI checkpoints

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Officers are conducting a DWI checkpoint Friday and it may be one of the last checkpoints to happen in Missouri.

In order to catch drunk drivers out on the road law enforcement agencies either use DWI checkpoints or saturation patrolling.

Saturation patrols are when a group of officers are out on the roads to solely focus on looking for drunk drivers. They are not responsible for responding to any other calls.

State representative Scott Fitzpatrick is one of the lawmakers who believes that saturation patrols are more effective and cost efficient than DWI checkpoints.

Fitzpatrick is sponsoring legislation to reduce available grant money for sobriety checkpoints to $1. He says the money should instead be available for saturation patrols.

Creve Coeur Lt. Jeff Hartman said they make about the same number of arrests using the two techniques but checkpoints have advantages beyond just an arrest. He said checkpoints are more visible so just seeing them helps deter people from driving drunk.

Some people argue that one of the downfalls of a checkpoint is that people can share where it is happening. Hartman says sometimes they conduct ones where they move locations every hour.