Update: Sobriety Checkpoint Cancelled Due to Weather Forecast

Carroll County is expected to get a mix of wintry weather throughout the day and evening Friday.

The Sheriff's Office has announced that, due to forecasts for inclement weather and potentially hazardous driving conditions, the sobriety checkpoint scheduled for tomorrow evening has been cancelled.

--Original Article--

On Feb. 22 law enforcement officers from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, Westminster Police Department, Sykesville Police Department, Taneytown Police Department and Hampstead Police Department will join together in conducting a sobriety checkpoint, according to a sheriff's department news release.

The checkpoint, which is designed to reduce the number of impaired and intoxicated drivers on Carroll County roadways, will occur in the north bound lane on the 2200 Block of Hanover Pike in Hampstead.

With a Grant funded through Checkpoint Strike Force, the checkpoint will be well marked and operated by uniformed law enforcement personnel. A briefing will be held at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Northern Satellite Office in Hampstead at 10 p.m. on Feb. 22 with the checkpoint following immediately.

If you have any questions, please contact Lieutenant Pat Fisher of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office at 410-386-2900.

SOUTHWESTMINSTER February 15, 2013 at 10:05 PM
They might be more successful if they didn't tell people where and when....
tiptop February 16, 2013 at 01:17 PM
SOUTHWESTMINSTER - you are right! I'll add, if they really wanted to make a impact, they should be doing this more often, like every weekend, please! Just to add: they don't need a "Grant" to do their jobs.
Ed February 17, 2013 at 03:14 AM
Um, given that it takes at least 10 officers to run a checkpoint (even more on a multi-lane highway like 140, it is more than run of the mill traffic patrol work and does need additional funding. I suspect they probably get more dui stops on their regular Friday and Saturday night patrols than they do on these checkpoints. The purpose of publicizing them, they say, is to make people in that area think twice before drinking and driving on at least that one night. Depends on how many alternate routes there will be between bars and home as to how beneficial it is.
Tom February 17, 2013 at 05:08 PM
I agree...it shouldn't take grant for cops to do their jobs.
Steve February 19, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Where are the Self Proclaimed "Keepers of the American Constitution" Carroll County Commissioners? Surely, these checkpoints are against the 4th Amendment, Why do the "Keepers of the Constitution" allow them to occur in Carroll County?
Ed February 19, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Steve, while I think they are poor uses of limited resources, numerous courts have upheld them as constitutional. The gang of 5 prefers to tilt at windmills that have not yet been fully adjudicated by the courts, apparently.
Kym Byrnes (Editor) February 21, 2013 at 02:21 PM
The Sheriff's Office has announced that, due to forecasts for inclement weather and potentially hazardous driving conditions, the sobriety checkpoint scheduled for tomorrow evening has been cancelled. The article is updated to reflect this information.
Gr8Minds February 21, 2013 at 08:36 PM
I asked the same question about why a sobriety checkpoint is announced and I was told they HAVE to do that. Kym, can you confirm this?
Ed February 22, 2013 at 01:20 AM
Gr8, I think that's what helps it pass "constitutional" muster. Prior knowledge gives people the option to avoid it. I THINK (I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV) that's how the courts have decided its not an unreasonable search.
justicefourall February 22, 2013 at 03:22 AM
on behalf of the drunk drivers I am sure they thank you.maybe you should announce drug busts ahead of time also,and don't foget about undercover stings either
Ed February 22, 2013 at 03:46 AM
justiceforall, Drug busts are based on search warrants that are based on reasonable cause. Please explain to me the "reasonable cause" to stop several hundred cars for 4 dui arrests and 1 illegal weapon arrest, as was the recent result in Harford County. Especially when a checkpoint requires at least 10 officers who could probably arrest twice as many impaired drivers on routine patrol on a Friday or Saturday night.
Kym Byrnes (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Gr8Minds, I have not received a response from the Sheriff's Office on this question as of yet. I am still trying to get you an official answer.
unknownauthor February 22, 2013 at 08:40 PM
The primary reason for notifying the public about checkpoints is that doing so is required by law. In 1990, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, while checkpoints do not violate the U.S. Constitution, it is necessary to follow certain guidelines when planning and executing such an event. Publicizing the checkpoint is one such guideline. This, the court said, is because the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution requires that police have a justifiable suspicion of driver intoxication or some other reasonable basis for pulling a vehicle over and conducting a search. By notifying the public of checkpoints, the police are essentially giving fair notice to drivers and satisfying the Fourth Amendment in the process. If the public did not have sufficient notice that they could be stopped by police for essentially no reason, the checkpoint would constitute an unconstitutional detention without reasonable suspicion.
Kym Byrnes (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Ok, here is the response I received from Major Kasten at the Sheriff's Office: "Yes, the public must be given advanced notice of the checkpoint— including, the time and location. On the day of the checkpoint, signs are also positioned to notify drivers of the event in advance enough to avoid the checkpoint. The goal is always the reduction of collisions, particularly serious collisions, along with providing for the safe and efficient movement of traffic. Whether that is accomplished through enforcement, arrests and citations, or education provided by the news media and information handed-out by uniformed officers at checkpoints, every person that acts on the message to not drink and drive and report intoxicated drivers is potentially one less collision, and a life saved. It’s inarguable, drunk and/or drugged driving is deadly."


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