438 Vehicles Pass Sobriety Checkpoint, 1 Charged With Drunken Driving
Another checkpoint could be coming to Lakewood this fall.
Of the 438 vehicles that passed through the sobriety checkpoint on Detroit and Woodward avenues on Saturday night, one man was charged with drunken driving.
But arresting people wasn’t necessarily the goal.
“The whole idea behind a checkpoint is not to make a whole bunch of arrests,” said Sgt. John Miller of the Ohio Highway Patrol. “It’s to show people we’re out there. It’s sort of a deterrent. If we wanted to make a bunch of arrests, we wouldn’t put it in the newspaper (ahead of time).”
The Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers coordinated the federally funded checkpoint with the help of the Lakewood Police Department.
The four-hour-long checkpoint stopped 438 eastbound motorists on Detroit Avenue from about 8 p.m. until midnight.
Of those, five were “diverted,” or asked to pull into a designated area for further investigation of “various issues.” One man was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, after this blood-alcohol content registered at .1 — just over the 0.8 legal limit.
Another motorist spotted turned around as he approached the checkpoint, but Lakewood police caught up with him and found that he had been drinking and driving, said Lakewood police chief Timothy Malley.
The man was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
“This seems to work out best for us in August,” said Malley. “We usually do one per year.”
That may change this year.
Miller said there are plans in the works to have another checkpoint in Lakewood this fall, but the location may be different because the construction of the new McDonald’s would “change the traffic patterns.”
He added the campaigns during the past few years have been successful — despite not arresting dozens of impaired drivers.
“We don’t want anybody to drive after they consume alcohol,” he said. “We’re not saying don’t drink. But if you do, have a designated driver. The last thing I want to do is knock on a door and inform someone that their loved has been killed because of drinking and driving.”