The number of traffic fatalities on Charles County roadways this year continues to climb and the Charles County Sheriff's Office is combating this problem with a combination of public education and aggressive enforcement. Among its efforts, the Sheriff's Office is announcing it will now conduct its own checkpoints for intoxicated drivers.
The Sheriff's Office has participated in DWI checkpoints in the past with other law enforcement agencies but grant funding has recently enabled the Agency to conduct its own checkpoints. The checkpoints will be conducted at random locations throughout the county. The Sheriff's Office will notify the public via the news media and the Agency's Web site, www.ccso.us, of the dates the checkpoints will occur, but not of specific locations or times.
"Checkpoints have a lot of advantages for law enforcement," said Charles County Sheriff Frederick E. Davis. "We can concentrate on problem areas and remove more intoxicated drivers from our roadways than standard patrols allow."
There are other benefits, too, Sheriff Davis said. Checkpoints call attention to the dangers of drinking and driving and give officers an opportunity to educate the scores of motorists who are stopped. Sheriff's officers will distribute flyers to the sober motorists they encounter to provide them with information about driving under the influence of alcohol.
"We want to make sure we reach out to all the motorists and provide them with information on the importance of being a sober driver," said Sheriff Davis. "Just because they pass through the checkpoint doesn't mean they've never driven after consuming alcohol, that they won't find themselves contemplating drinking and driving later on in life or that they don't know someone who drinks and drives. We don't know their stories, but the flyers have information for motorists to remember and share with others."
The Sheriff's Office is also instituting the checkpoints to deter motorists from drinking and driving, said Sheriff Davis. "If the enormous safety risk they pose to themselves or others doesn't stop people from drinking and driving, the fear of being caught might."