All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
Arkansas State Police Troop K Sergeant Joe coordinated and executed a multi-agency Holiday Sobriety Checkpoint on Central Avenue last Saturday Night in Garland County which was aimed at taking impaired drivers off the highway.
A team of approximately 17 officers from the Arkansas State Police, Garland County Sheriff’s Department and Hot Springs Police Department gathered in the First Baptist Church’s Parking Lot at 9:30PM, had a safety brief and then got to work saving lives.
Officers shut down the 3 middle lanes on Central Avenue in front of the church. Both northbound and southbound traffic was stopped and checked. No car passed this location without being checked during this operation. Drivers were stopped right there in their lane as they passed through the checkpoint. If officers determined that no violations existed with a vehicle, they were only delayed approximately 1 minute and allowed to pass – no problem. If officers determined that a violation needed addressing, the driver was instructed to pull into the church parking lot for further investigation.
Arkansas State Police Trooper 1st Class Chapman from the ASP Media Relations Office in Little Rock provided the following activity report from this event (also mentioned in this ASP Special/Holiday And Sobriety Checkpoint Activity Report were 2 saturation patrols that took place in Hot Springs/Garland County on the same date):
DWI Arrest = 3
Non-Hazardous Arrest = 12
Criminal Arrest = 1
Warnings = 2
This checkpoint lasted for 90 minutes and the police certainly got the “Do Not Drink and Drive” message across. Drivers and passengers that passed through the area at the time witnessed, up close and in person, the consequences of what happens to people that are caught drinking and driving. And in at least 1 case, smoking marijuana and driving. Reality sets in when you drive through the gauntlet of officers and notice the field sobriety tests being administered in the adjacent parking lot. Not to mention, Holcomb’s Transport & Recovery and Xtreme Towing & Recovery pulling cars out of the church parking lot like that.
On the Arkansas 911 News Facebook Page, I keep saying “don’t be next” in reference to drinking and driving. Some folks have to find out the hard way. I’m just glad no one was injured or killed due to impaired driving in Garland County that night (that I am aware of, anyway).
Someone is always next. You have absolute control of whether you get a DWI or not; Don’t be next.