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DUI checkpoint in place for holiday weekend

By Sam Penrod | Posted - Apr. 6, 2012 at 6:04 p.m.


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EUREKA, Juab County -- As people look forward to hitting the sand of Little Sahara for Easter weekend, there will be an extra a stop along the way.

Utah County has planned extra patrols to keep Easter weekend safe, including a police checkpoint between Elberta and Eureka checking for impaired drivers on popular roadways. For most drivers, the checkpoints cause less than a minute delay, but for those suspected of driving under the influence, they will take a bit longer.

"A lot of the traffic coming through is perfectly normal, nobody doing anything wrong," said Utah County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Spencer Cannon. "But there's also a lot of traffic where you have drug or alcohol violations, impaired drivers, and we try to make an effort here to get as many of those off the road as we can.

In these checkpoints, every car is stopped by one of several officers who are looking for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"We don't spend a lot of time looking for routine traffic violations like registration or driver's license," Cannon said. "Our approach is simply to explain who we are, what our purpose is which is conducting a sobriety checkpoint aimed at deterring impaired driving."

While several people undergo sobriety tests, most drivers will be allowed to continue with their trip.

"The vast majority of people seem to be pleased with us being here, don't seemed to be annoyed by the interaction here," Cannon said. "We get a few occasionally that are bothered by it, but our aim is just to get impaired drivers off the road."

Police checkpoints are legal, as long as it is advertised in advance and approved by a judge. Officers hope by doing this Friday, they won't have to respond to any serious accidents during the holiday weekend involving drivers under the influence.

The checkpoint will be in effect until after midnight.

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Sam Penrod

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