PLYMOUTH – A late June sobriety checkpoint in Marshall County resulted in zero arrests, but organizers point to that as a sign that motorists are getting the message not to drink and drive.
Bremen police Officer Troy Ulch, who serves as the Marshall County DUI Task Force coordinator, and Marshall County Deputy Prosecutor Matt Sarber said in a joint news release that the sobriety checkpoint was 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday, June 29, in the 1500 block of North Oak Drive in Plymouth.
Of the 129 vehicles stopped, two child-safety restraint citations were issued, but no one was taken into custody. Another 152 vehicles were allowed to pass around the checkpoint.
“Increasing public awareness of impaired driver enforcement and apprehension is the primary motivator for conducting a checkpoint,” Sarber said via email earlier this week. “We achieve this through the public information campaign ahead of each checkpoint, a vibrant law enforcement presence during the checkpoint operation, and community involvement surrounding the checkpoint.
“The DUI Task Force counts it as a success when people are chatting about the checkpoint,” Sarber continued. “This year the (Summer Sippin’ Craft Brew Fest) coincided with our checkpoint – a complete happenstance. We heard many people mentioning the checkpoint during the event, and if conducting the checkpoint stopped people driving impaired, then I think we succeeded in our goal.”
Along with the Bremen Police Department, the Marshall County DUI Task Force is comprised of officers from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, and Bourbon, Culver and Plymouth police departments.
The Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office supported and assisted the DUI Task Force.
Drivers spent an average of less than one minute in the checkpoint, according to the news release announcing the checkpoint results.
“We keep the encounter limited in time and scope to screen for sobriety and other obvious major violations,” said Sarber, who was at the late June checkpoint. “We do not issue citations for minor violations, (such as) headlight, seatbelt – unless a minor child is not safely secured – or other equipment violations. As a result, our checkpoint runs smoothly and we do not encroach on individual liberty in a substantive way.”