Here they come.
Be aware that after you enjoy St. Patrick's day celebrations around Chicago, the city, as well as many municipalities, will be setting up Illinois DUI "Roadside Safety Checkpoints" in strategic locations around the area.
- Are they legal? That depends on whether the police departments play by the rules.
- Do they work? They do result in arrests.
- Do they work well? That's a whole different question.
In my opinion, no. These DUI roadblocks aggregate a lot of manpower in one central place for a concentrated enforcement action. They pick out cars based on a pattern set by supervisors who adjust based on traffic flow. So they might stop every car, or every 5th car. Then the "point" officer determines if there are any tell-tale signs worth further investigation, such as equipment or documentation problems, or perhaps the odor of alcohol.
The problem? The odor of alcohol doesn't mean a driver is impaired. It means the driver may have consumed an alcoholic beverage. Contrary to popular belief, in Illinois, drinking and driving is not illegal.
Police officers do make DUI arrests with these roadblocks. Meanwhile, the next street over, some motorist is happily wandering from lane to lane actually driving badly. And no police officer is there to see it.If the purpose of making driving while under the influence of alcohol is to enhance public safety, it is in the public interest to have police officers stop people who are actually exhibiting a danger to public safety, not people who seem to have absolutely no difficulty controlling their vehicle safely. Meanwhile, a great many people have the lovely end to their St Patrick's day celebration being hassled by the police for no apparent reason.By the way - why do this if not for the benefit of public safety? Money. Police departments get grant money to do these "Roadside Safety Checks", and they are hungry for the ability to keep paying their officers. And they can't afford putting enough police officers out at night on patrol really keep up with the numbers of people they suspect are passing through their towns impaired by drugs or alcohol while driving.
Stay safe - here are a few examples of announced roadblocks:
Wilmette PD Cracking Down on DUI This Weekend
Des Plaines PD DUI Roadblocks this Weekend
Niles PD DUI Roadblock - Staying Alive This St Patrick's Day
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