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Sobriety Checkpoints, How They Work

Apr 08, 2013

Sobriety Checkpoints are temporary installations set up by the local police department, usually late at night or during the early hours of the morning, when the majority of road traffic fatalities are recorded. CADA will be holding Community Information Sessions on Thursday 4th April at 5:30pm and again on Thursday 18th April, also at 5:30pm. These sessions will be held at the Hamilton Police Station and all are welcome. To view the entire Calendar of Events for Alcohol Awareness Month 2013, click here.

During a Non-Selective Sobriety Checkpoint the police decide ahead of time that every nth vehicle will be stopped. In other words, the police decide ahead of time that they will stop every 10th vehicle, or every 20th vehicle, this is called non-selective testing, it is non-selective because there is no room for profiling in any way, once this decision has been made, the checkpoint begins. The driver of every nth vehicle is stopped and roadside breath tested. 
The purpose of having these Checkpoints is not to catch people. The goal is to use public awareness messages to inform the public that these Checkpoints will be taking place, therefore members of the public know that if they choose to drink and drive the likelihood of them getting caught is high, thus they decide to take a cab or have a designated driver instead.
 
CADA Chairman, Anthony Santucci, recently spoke out to discuss the need for sobriety checkpoints in Bermuda. Mr. Santucci stated,

"According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD, Bermuda has one of the highest rates of road fatalities – 20 per 100,000. The OECD average is 9.6 per 100,000. From the year 2000 to 2012 135 people died on Bermuda's roads, to view the list of those who have died on our roads click here

Sobriety checkpoints change behaviors and thus help save lives. Legislation is needed to provide for roadside sobriety checkpoints in Bermuda.

Sobriety checkpoints are temporary or mobile installations set up by the local police department, usually late at night or during the early hours of the morning – when the majority of road traffic fatalities are recorded. 

The police decide ahead of time that every nth vehicle will be stopped. In other words, the police decide ahead of time that they will stop every 10th vehicle, or every 20th vehicle, this is called Non-Selective testing, it is Non-Selective because there is no room for profiling in any way, once this decision has been made, the checkpoint begins. 

The driver of every nth vehicle is stopped is roadside breath tested. 

If the roadside test is good, i.e. not above the legal limit of alcohol, the person is quickly moved on. We like to say, “You’re stopped, you blow, if you’re good, you go.”

If however the roadside breath test shows at or above a certain level of alcohol, the person is transported to the Police Station or to the Police Command Vehicle for the fully calibrated alcohol breathalyzer machine test. This process is called Non-Selective testing because it is an entirely impartial, unbiased process, with no room for profiling
  
CADA’s research shows that jurisdictions who have implemented sobriety checkpoints, together with an extensive communications campaign, have met with outstanding results.
Currently, under Bermuda’s laws, there are no provisions for the Bermuda Police Service to demand and take breath samples on the road. At CADA, we believe that sobriety checkpoints should be implemented, to save lives.
 
The purpose of having these Checkpoints is not to catch people. The goal is to use public awareness messages to inform the public that these Checkpoints will be taking place, therefore members of the public know that if they choose to drink and drive the likelihood of them getting caught is high, thus they decide to take a cab or have a designated driver instead.
 
If you plan to consume alcohol, put a plan in place to get home safely. Put this plan in place before you leave home.
 
Put the phone numbers of cab drivers you know into your cell phone and when you are ready to go home call them. Or, before you go out arrange for a cab driver to collect you from an agreed place at an agreed time.
 
Or, take the bus.
 
Or, arrange for someone in your party who is not drinking to be your designated driver.
 
Remember ABCD – Always use Bus, Cab or Designated Driver."

 

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Did You Know?

Bermuda law states that it is illegal to sell or serve alcohol to someone that is already drunk View all facts