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Local law enforcement run DUI checkpoint over Memorial Day weekend

“Traditionally, Memorial Weekend is a pretty big party holiday because it kicks off the summer,” says Rob Johnson, Lieutenant over law enforcement operations in Kane County, “and highway checkpoints have been used by law enforcement to reduce DUI’s, to let people know we’re out there and keeping an eye on things.”



Stock photo via Shutterstock.


This year kept to the tradition, as a collaborative group of local law enforcement including Kane County, Kanab City, Utah Highway Patrol, DNR, DWR and Big Water Marshal’s set up a checkpoint on Highway 89 in the Kane County area to monitor driving under the influence. “Checkpoints like this are a useful tool to limit highway access on high-risk days,” says Johnson. “A big part of how I measure the success of something like this is engagement - people can see us out there and know we’re doing what we can to prevent DUI’s.”


The checkpoint, conducted over two days, resulted in four total arrests, 17 citations and 76 warnings either verbal or written - Johnson estimates over 2,000 contacts over the course of the operation. “There wasn’t a lot of drunk driving this year, which was a pleasant surprise.”


Per the report from Kane County, each contact with a driver was under three minutes, and the checks met law enforcement standard on the checkpoint scope, checks on documentation and issuing citations or warnings. Lieutenant Johnson commented, “We were mostly able to give warnings when necessary; in the few cases where a checked individual had alcohol in their system within the legal limit, they volunteered to change drivers after the check.”



Johnson offered his gratitude to the public for their cooperation, stating, “Most of the people we contacted were pleasant. Even though it is an inconvenience on a holiday weekend, most people were respectful.” He also thanked the other agencies and officers for their participation in the operation - including the additional dispatchers for traffic, a total of 31 law enforcement agents participated in the checkpoint.


The checkpoint, according to Johnson, was focused on law enforcement presence as a preventative measure. “We focus on warnings over citations and arrests. We want people to know we’re there and to know we’re actively doing what we can to limit drunk driving and driving under the influence of other drugs.”


Law enforcement officials confirm plans to notify the public of actions like this one in the Southern Utah News and other public platforms like social media.

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