9 Oct

DWI checkpoints are a standard part of the law enforcement playbook. On certain nights on certain streets, one can expect to see police officers watching carefully for errant driving. Anyone caught driving over the limit will likely suffer serious penalties, the least of which would be the suspension of one’s license.

The Raleigh Police Department recently received a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that will allow them to step up enforcement of DWI within the city of Raleigh. The grant, valued at over half a million dollars, will allow the RPD to hire new staff and purchase new vehicles, uniforms and equipment. This will allow the RPD to form a new unit dedicated to enforcing DWI laws.

Currently, the RPD makes approximately 1,500 arrests per year. With the new grant money, law enforcement officials hope to see that number jump to over 2,000.

The extra officers will largely be focusing on high traffic areas for DWI. In particular, officers say they will be targeting roadways surrounding the North Carolina State Campus. Officers hope not only to catch students who have had too much to drink, but also to be seen along the high-volume roadways as a reminder not to drink and drive.

Officers will also be targeting areas of downtown Raleigh, particularly those that are home to a large number of bars and restaurants. Officers will concentrate on high-volume areas (a practice one police lieutenant compared to fishing “where you know you’re going to catch fish,”) but enforce the city as a whole, as well. Police officials hope that this new level of enforcement will convince those who would drink and drive to find an alternate way home.

Source: The Technician Online, “RPD to increase DWI checkpoints near campus” Ravi Chittilla, Sep. 24, 2013