MASSIVE POLICE PRESENCE AT SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT OUTSIDE REHOBOTH
FROM THE BEACH REPORT BY ALAN HENNEY
It was probably one of the most sophisticated and best-staffed sobriety checkpoints motorists in the Rehoboth area have seen in recent memory. Officers from multiple police agencies along with DelDOT highway crews participated in this past weekend’s Checkpoint Strikeforce.
The checkpoint was established late Friday on the northbound lanes of Coastal Highway just north of the Rehoboth canal bridge. It was perfect to catch those leaving the Dewey bars. The location was also brilliant because the only hint motorists had was a flashing arrow board and traffic cones forcing vehicles into a single lane, as if they were approaching a nighttime construction zone.
But once at the top of the canal bridge, it became obvious that everybody was corralled in a single lane destined for a sobriety check.
Several motorists were stopped, tested and some were arrested. Others were cited for various violations and a few appeared to be suspected of drug possession.
Arrest totals were not yet available as of Sunday.
Nearly 100 law enforcement officers were sworn-in as part of Checkpoint Strikeforce on July 7. According to the Office of Highway Safety(OHS), Delaware has had more than a dozen fatalities attributed to impaired driving and more than 1,800 DUI arrests so far this year.
In an effort to curb the number of injuries and fatalities in Delaware, OHS says it has re-tooled the 15-year running, regional Checkpoint Strikeforce effort. In a news release earlier this month, Jana Simpler, OHS director, said to better allocate resources the task force has changed the model of Checkpoint Strikeforce by conducting five simultaneous statewide checkpoints on four selected nights. This past Friday was the first of the four events which will run through December. Two were in New Castle, one in Kent and two in Sussex counties.