Super Bowl Sunday, Sobriety Checkpoints and DUI Arrests
While Las Vegas is known as the Entertainment Capital of the World every day of the year, events such as Super Bowl Sunday attract even more party-goers than usual. Due to the higher likelihood of drinking, the Las Vegas Police Department announced a series of sobriety/DUI checkpoints throughout the city.
Sobriety checkpoints statistically save thousands of lives a year by arresting drunk drivers before they cause accidents. In Las Vegas, police announced that their checkpoints would be held between the hours of 4pm (right after kickoff) until 3am.
The checkpoints were set up near Flamingo Road, Tropicana, Desert Inn, Valley View Boulevard and Rainbow Boulevard.
Due to the recent emphasis on drugged driving in addition to alcohol-impaired driving, law enforcement announced they would be checking for drugged drivers as well. According to the Las Vegas Police Department, Joining Forces Grant from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety sponsored the sobriety checkpoints.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 10,000 people killed nationwide in alcohol-related crashes in the year 2010 alone. With staggering statistics like this, it is no wonder that DUI checkpoints are emphasized, especially on holidays and days for major events, like the Super Bowl.
Consider the following drunk driving statistics. The NHTSA also reports that approximately 30 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes are alcohol-impaired. Impaired driving dramatically increases a person’s risk of being involved in an accident, even after just one drink.
FARS data (Fatality Analysis Reporting System) put the fatality risk into more tangible terms, stating that there are approximately 27 people killed in the United States every day as a result of a drunk driving accident. Among drunk drivers, a large percentage of these are young drivers and even drivers under the drinking age. Intoxication mixed with inexperience greatly increases the accident risk.
Recent or Current Legislation by State
In recent years, states across the U.S. have stepped up their efforts to reduce DUI-related fatalities during Super Bowl Sunday by passing legislation that increases the number of sobriety checkpoints on the day of the big game.
For example, New York recently passed a law that requires all counties in the state to set up at least one sobriety checkpoint within 24 hours of kickoff time on Super Bowl Sunday.
Other states, like California and Illinois, have also passed similar laws in the past few years that require law enforcement officers to set up checkpoints around the state during Super Bowl Sunday.Effectiveness and Use of Sobriety Checkpoints
Due to the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints, more and more states have begun implementing them on Super Bowl Sunday.
During these checkpoints, officers often make use of a variety of strategies such as media campaigns, roadblocks, and even undercover operations to ensure that no one is driving under the influence.
Sobriety checkpoints are proven to be effective in decreasing the number of DUI arrests and fatalities related to drunk or drugged driving.
According to a study conducted by the NHTSA in 2009, sobriety checkpoints reduced alcohol-related fatalities by 20 percent in states that implemented them. Furthermore, according to the same study, DWI arrests were reduced by as much as 22 percent in those states.
Do You Have To Stop At A DUI Checkpoint In California?
In California, you must stop at a sobriety checkpoint if you are driving through one. Sobriety checkpoints are also known as DUI checkpoints and they are operated by law enforcement officers to check drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment.
Typically, these checkpoints are set up on public roads near bars and other places where alcohol is served or consumed.
During a sobriety checkpoint, officers will check for signs of intoxication such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or an odor of alcohol on the breath.
They can also ask for proof of insurance and registration to verify the driver’s identity. Drivers must comply with sobriety checkpoints and failure to do so can result in criminal penalties.
Victims of DUI accidents should understand that they may have legal recourse against drunk drivers or establishments that sell alcohol. Depending on the circumstances, victims may be able to receive financial compensation to help remediate the cost of damages both physical and emotional.
Shook & Stone: Advocates for DUI accident victims
Shook & Stone represents victims and families of the victims of drunk driving accidents. Although individuals who are arrested for DUI will face both criminal and administrative penalties, victims of these accidents can also take action and they can do so with the help of our firm.
We understand that nothing can take away the devastation following this type of avoidable accident, but legal action against drunk drivers and in some cases, establishments that sell alcohol, can result in financial compensation to remediate the cost of damages both physical and emotional.
If you would like to learn more about what DUI accident victims can do following a devastating accident, please contact a Las Vegas injury attorney at Shook & Stone today for a free evaluation of your case.