Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has put the DUI Task Force back on the road in Pinellas County. This is great news for everyone for two reasons.
John Romano, in his article in Sunday’s Tampa Bay Times, points out when budget cuts forced former Sheriff Jim Coates to disband the DUI stop points in 2008, DUI arrests within a year fell by one half. More shockingly, alcohol related deaths almost doubled.
DUI check points are commonly set up between midnight and 3 a.m. Legally, these stops have to be random – meaning law enforcement could stop every sixth car or every third car or whatever randomly decided number they choose.
During a recent checkpoint, about a half dozen drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated. That’s only part of the story. Just as significant, it reminds people these checkpoints are being used and you never know when you’ll run into them.
This translates into “Don’t Drink and Drive” - a huge deterrent.
Hats off to Sheriff Gualteri for reinstating the Task Force!