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Roving patrols, not checkpoints, catch more drunk drivers

The sobriety checkpoint planned for Fargo Thursday will serve to funnel limited state and federal grant money away from measures that have proven to be most effective in combating drunk driving ("DUI checkpoint planned for Thursday in Fargo," June 24 issue of The Forum).

Because they are highly visible by design and publicized in advance, roadblocks are all too easily avoided by the chronic alcohol abusers who comprise the core of today's drunk driving problem.

Conversely, the number of DUI arrests made by roving patrol programs is nearly 10 times the average number of DUIs made by checkpoint programs, according to testimony by a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation official.

By focusing scarce law enforcement resources on roadblocks, the Cass County Sheriff's Office and the Highway Patrol will strip North Dakota's roadways of their most valuable tool for catching drunk drivers. Fargo residents and taxpayers would benefit from employing the most effective tactics to catch drunk drivers: roving police patrols. -- Sarah Longwell, Managing Director, American Beverage Institute, Washington, D.C.