Support Our Heroes

Officers keep us safe in many ways, including on the roadways. They work long hours with low pay, deal with difficult situations, and put themselves in danger on a daily basis — and some pay the ultimate price.  Forty-four percent of the officers killed in the line of duty were killed in traffic crashes.  That’s why MADD supports these heroes who keep our roads safe.

Sobriety Checkpoints

We want enforcement to work so well that there are no offenders to catch, because no one is driving drunk.  Thus, the goal of enforcement is to deter people from ever committing the crime (and to apprehend those who do).

One of the most effective enforcement tools is sobriety checkpoints, which are proven to reduce fatalities by 20 percent.  Checkpoints are typically publicized in advance and signs are posted at the approach to the checkpoints.  Vehicles are stopped in a specific sequence (e.g., every other vehicle or every fourth vehicle) at predetermined points on the roadway.

Saturation Saturday

MADD has designated the Saturday before Labor Day weekend as Saturation Saturday, a day to team up with law enforcement departments nationwide to amplify the message that if you choose to drive impaired, you will get caught. MADD volunteers and staff coordinate with their local departments to host media events, roll calls and sobriety checkpoints to show support for officers conducting high-visibility enforcement. The campaign is aimed at lowering drunk driving crashes and fatalities during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

MADD also supports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement in their impaired driving crackdowns.  After all, to deter potential drunk drivers, they have to know enforcement is out there.  The crackdowns do just that – let people know that law enforcement is keeping a special eye out for drunk drivers during dangerous parts of the year.

What can you do to help?  You can be the eyes and ears to help prevent drunk driving by learning the signs of a drunk driver and what to do when you see one here.

Sobriety Checkpoint FAQs

What is a checkpoint?

  1. Sobriety checkpoints are a technique where law enforcement officials evaluate drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment at specific points on the roadway.
  2. Conversely, a saturation patrol is a concentrated enforcement effort that targets impaired drivers by observing moving violations such as reckless driving, speeding and aggressive driving among others things.
  3. A saturation patrol is generally spread over a larger geographic area than a sobriety checkpoint.

How are checkpoints conducted?

  1. Vehicles are stopped in a specific sequence such as every other vehicle or every fourth, fifth or sixth vehicle.
  2. Checkpoints are typically publicized in advance and signs are posted at the approaches to the checkpoints warning drivers that a checkpoint is ahead.
  3. Police must have a reason to believe the driver stopped at a checkpoint has been drinking before a breath test can be conducted.
  4. If the checkpoints are conducted properly, cars are pulled over at random according to their order in the sequence which diminishes the possibility of racial profiling.
  5. Law-abiding people are sent on their way within minutes.
  6. Average stop time is about the length of a cycle at a stop light.

Why do checkpoints?

  1. The primary goal of a sobriety checkpoint is not to arrest people, but rather to deter people from committing DUI.
  2. Sobriety checkpoints help stop drunk drivers who would likely remain under the radar.
  3. The publicity from checkpoints reminds people who drink that drinking and driving don’t mix.
  4. Research shows that for every dollar invested in checkpoints, communities save between $6 and $23 in costs from alcohol-related crashes.
  5. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes to society is over $100 billion.
  6. Research shows that checkpoints, if done correctly, can be effective with as few as three to five officers.




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