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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Sobriety checkpoints to start in July

  • Neosho police hope to make the city’s roads and streets safer for residents and visitors by incorporating several enforcement efforts to remove both impaired and unsafe drivers in the coming months.
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  • Neosho police hope to make the city’s roads and streets safer for residents and visitors by incorporating several enforcement efforts to remove both impaired and unsafe drivers in the coming months.
    Neosho Police Chief Dave McCracken said several sobriety checkpoints will be conducted; the first during the month of July.
    “We’re going to start our program for preventing and apprehending people that are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” he said. “This is the first checkpoint we’ve conducted in some time. Then we have some other programs coming up this summer as far as enforcement goes, saturation patrols, hazardous moving violation patrols and those kinds of things that we’ll be conducting all summer.”
    The chief said the date and location of the checkpoints will be announced to the public. He said several factors figure in to when and where checkpoints are held.
    “We do a lot of work on where the accidents are, where the impaired drivers have been detected in the past, as well as time of day, day of the week and that kind of thing to determine these,” he said.
    McCracken noted, “Holidays are always a time when we do some programs just because people are out and celebrating.”
    He said other factors include available manpower to conduct the checks.
    If you drive into and are stopped at a checkpoint, McCracken said, “They’ll be asked for their driver’s license, their insurance and talked with briefly. If everything checks out OK, then they’ll proceed on. The process should be very short, unless there’s a problem.”
    He explained, “We usually clear up a lot of warrants with these type of programs, as well as finding violations that are happening at the time.”
    In addition to the sobriety checkpoints, another project the department will undertake is what are called DWI saturation patrols.
    McCracken said, “This is a program in which we actually authorize overtime to do saturation patrols in areas. Again, based on our accident statistics for the locations, time of day, day of the week, such as that, and work these areas strongly during the times when our accidents are occurring.”
    Hazardous moving violation patrols are another tool the department will use in the coming months.
    “They key on the actual violations that occur, based on the data that we compile, they are particularly looking for those types of things,” McCracken said. “If the officer detects other violations, we’ll follow up on those as well.”
    He concluded, “It’s primarily a concentration to try to prevent accidents.”
    Page 2 of 2 - McCracken described hazardous moving violations as, “Speeding, stop sign violations, signal lights, proper lane usage; those things that commonly cause accidents.”
    He said the effort is funded by a Missouri Department of Transportation Highway Safety Division grant which they apply for annually.
    “It supplements our budget on the overtime,” McCracken said. “It’s a program set nationally and then passes down funds to the state, who pass them down locally to help enforce traffic regulations as well as discover engineering problems that cause accidents.”
    Neosho police have conducted DWI saturation patrols over the last several years through the grant, but McCracken said they have not conducted a sobriety checkpoint since 2009. In the attempt to provide diverse and effective proactive enforcement in the area of impaired driving, he said police are trying out different strategies.
    “These particular programs we’ve signed up for are enforcement programs — which we hope to at the end of the year — have reduced accidents,” he said. “We try to find out what the accidents are being caused by, try to work toward the root source of those, and not just out there randomly enforcing law.”

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