DUI checkpoint planned for Labor Day in Peoria
Brent Whiting
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 17, 2007 09:55 AM
Peoria police say the sobriety checkpoint worked so well on Memorial Day that they have planned another for Labor Day.
Police announced Friday they will be back on Castle Hot Springs Road at Lake Pleasant on Sept. 3 in another effort to catch tipsy motorists.
Also, there will be roving traffic patrols in the popular recreation area, including Arizona 74, said Mike Tellef, a Peoria police spokesman.
It will be a joint effort of Peoria police and the West Valley DUI Task Force, which includes traffic officers from several police from throughout the West Valley, Tellef said.
"It's a move police hope will prevent motorists from driving impaired and reduce the number of alcohol-related collisions," Tellef said.
On Memorial Day, May 28, a checkpoint was set up in the same spot and 1,401 vehicles were stopped, Tellef said. There were 25 arrests, 17 of them for underage drinking.
At a checkpoint for driving under the influence, every vehicle is stopped.
If the officer detects any sign of impairment, further investigation is conducted to determine if the driver is DUI.
Under Arizona law, the presumed intoxication level is a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent with an extreme DUI being 0.15 percent, or greater, resulting in enhanced penalties.
Tellef said the Labor Day crackdown is being announced well in advance of the holiday in an effort to deter motorists from driving drunk.
He described the sobriety checkpoint as a tool that is seldom used by Valley law-enforcement agencies.
In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of roadblocks set up to find drunken drivers.
The justices rules 6-3 that preventing "alcohol-related death and mutilation on the nation's roads" outweighs the "slight intrusion on drivers stopped at checkpoints.
The ruling upheld Michigan's checkpoint program and, by extension, similar operations in other states.
The Arizona Supreme Court reached a similar conclusion in 1984, overturning a Pima County ruling finding such roadblocks unconstitutional.
Reach the reporter at or (602) 444-6937.