Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
My introduction to Mammoth Cave has been high speed since the first day on. The Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Division currently has ten employees with various responsibilities. It’s been my pleasure to meet and get to know each of them.
On day three I participated in a sobriety checkpoint. Before setting up the checkpoint, I reviewed paperwork explaining the operation and staff involved as well as the operation GAR rating. The Rangers were sure to educate me on case law pertaining to sobriety checkpoints. The case we spoke about was Michigan Dep’t of State Police v. Sitz. In that case the supreme court found, “That a state’s interest in preventing accidents caused by drunk drivers outweighed the minimal intrusion upon drivers who are temporarily stopped” (FLETC 2015 Legal Division Student Handbook). During the checkpoint the officers approached the stop as an inspection and checked for valid driver’s license and registration. If the contact lead to reasonable suspicion, the officers would pull the vehicle over and run it. If that suspicion was alcohol related then the officers conducted standard field sobriety tests. There were no DUI charges throughout the night, but we cited drivers for open containers and an unrestricted child charge. The checkpoint took place on a Wednesday night and the day was resultant of less traffic in the area.
There will be more sobriety checkpoints throughout the summer. I have plenty to look forward to with my law enforcement experience and legal education with the staff here.