Beefed-up patrol, checkpoint yield arrests

tporter@lsjournal.comMarch 19, 2014 

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    Arrests made for driving while intoxicated during a sobriety checkpoint March 15 conducted by the LSPD.

Extra enforcement and beefed up patrol during and after the annual Emerald Isle Parade resulted in several arrests, including three for possible driving while intoxicated.

More than 540 vehicles were stopped during a sobriety checkpoint March 15 in the area of S.W. Third and Noel streets. The checkpoint yielded: 36 tickets issued and seven arrests made, including three for DWI.

So far this year, to-date numbers that only include the months of January and February, the LSPD has made 28 arrests for DWI. Last year the total number of DWI-related arrests was 204, down from the 256 arrests in 2012. A total of 293 DWI arrests were made in 2011, so the numbers continue to shrink for the department.

“The police department feels that sobriety checkpoints fit well into our overall plan to reduce drunk driving as well as the serious accidents that occur from impaired driving,” Lee’s Summit Police Department Sgt. Chris Depue said. “We conduct sobriety checkpoints in addition to our saturation patrols to remove impaired drivers from the roadway before an accident occurs. A checkpoint has a deterrent effect because once the location is known and we setup the checkpoint, word spreads quickly.

“Hopefully, drivers who may have made a bad decision learn of the checkpoint, think twice and call a cab or get a safe ride home.”

Depue said the department did not conduct any sobriety patrols on the official St. Patrick’s Day March 17. However, the department did have a bar patrol squad that worked the downtown area on foot to provide extra manpower. They staffed an additional six officers that worked the downtown bar district from noon until 2 a.m March 18.

The department also had an additional 21 officers on parade detail from noon until 2:30 p.m March 15. That night, the department put out an additional five officers who worked foot patrol in the downtown bar district.

The extra manpower helped the department keep intact the 14 officers who normally patrol Lee’s Summit.

“These extra officers are brought in to work the details so that we can keep our normal staffing levels of road officers that are available to handle routine and emergency calls for service,” Depue said.

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