http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2008/05/16/letter-dui-checkpoints-are-money-well-spent


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - May 16, 2008

Letter: DUI checkpoints are money well spent

Dear Editor,

I'm responding to the editorial, "Do sobriety checkpoints make any sense?" (Opinion, May 9, page 10). Let's see, Sarah Longwell, managing director for ABI, seems to think that because the checkpoint was so well publicized and because Pleasanton spent a lot of officers' time and taxpayer money to arrest "just four" drunk drivers out of 1,134 cars stopped, that the meager 0.3 percent success rate wasn't money well spent.

I can tell you it was. The purpose of sobriety checkpoints are not to catch drunk drivers, but to keep them off the road in the first place, and to provide education to the other drivers stopped. Was the money well spent saving the lives of potential victims of these four drunk drivers, your children, your parents, your friends, your husband, your wife? Were the 1,134 cars stopped impacted in other ways other then a mere inconvenience? Ask them. If it was so well publicized, why were four drivers apprehended?

A drunk driver took the life of my father and brother in 1976, they were 39 years old and 11 years old, returning from a trip down the American River. Because laws and education since 1976, the related drunk driving deaths are down. That means, saving your families' lives.

Thank you to the City of Pleasanton for spending my taxpaying dollars to making the roads safer thru education and awareness.

Cathie Feiler Pleasanton

Comments

Posted by Mary Klotzbach, a resident of Livermore
on May 16, 2008 at 6:39 am

I was one of those volunteers at the very well run checkpoint on Bernal May 5th. Kudos to all the law enforcement agencies involved. Checkpoints not only detect impaired drivers, but also result in arrests for illegal weapons, drugs, stolen vehicles, and fugitives. Also, 87 percent of Americans surveyed say they support sobriety checkpoints to find and deter drunk drivers. Sixty-two percent would like sobriety checkpoints to be conducted more often.

My husband and I have been to multiple checkpoints since a drunk driver took the life of our son, Matt. It is not because we enjoy working all day then staying up until 1 or 2 a.m to visit with law enforcement. It is because the stats are there that say high visibility checkpoints save lives. If I can help one parent from enduring the pain we have had since Matt was killed, that is enough reason. That was accomplished May 5th as one of those four drivers had his 3 year old child in the car. That child was quite possibly able to celebrate Mother's day because law enforcement chose to use highway grant monies in such a way. I believe the check point was 99.97 % sucessful.


Posted by Justin Probert, a resident of Mission Park
on May 16, 2008 at 9:47 pm

I want to take a moment and publicly thank the letter writer above as well as the one individual who has commented thus far. The Pleasanton Weekly's editorial last week not only gets it completely wrong with some type of twisted "logic" but verges on the offensive. If only one drunk driver was taken off the road that night it would have been a success and a fine use of my taxpayer dollars. I feel no sympathy for your staff who were apparently annoyed by the delays caused from this checkpoint. If you knew about it in advance why did you take that route? If it was so well publicized as you claim - why did ANYONE take that route? Backing up your opinion with ABI Managing Director comments really solidifies for me that prevention - this is one key method of any prevention strategy - is meaningless to your editor. You simply put some blind faith in the hopes that having police cruising around town indiscriminately will ultimately create greater success. Why not take the stance that both methods should be employed at different times of the year. They are all worth our money.