On Feb. 27, the Rohnert Park Police Department held a sobriety checkpoint on Rohnert Park Expressway between7 p.m. through Sunday morning until around 1 a.m. eastbound drivers were stopped and over 1,300 vehicles were screened, 28 of which were told to park in a nearby lot for further questioning.
Police were looking for those driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as well as unlicensed drivers, individuals violating probation or those with outstanding warrants. Field sobriety tests were conducted on several individuals, leading to five arrests under suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
According to police, the checkpoint led to 19 total arrests, including the five arrested under suspicion of DUI. Eleven others were taken into custody for either driving without a license, or driving on a suspended license. Two others were arrested for drug possession, and one for violating probation.
This checkpoint has shown a dramatic increase in arrests from a series of checkpoints held in Rohnert Park last fall, one of which only resulted in a single arrest of a driver for not having a license present at the time they went through the checkpoint. Police credit the zero DUI arrests during that particular checkpoint to the dramatic increase in the use of rideshare companies.
Police were unavailable to comment on this increase in arrests from the series of checkpoints organized last fall. A student explains why people may continue to drink and drive, despite the risks and cost associated with a DUI conviction.
“The amount of arrests that were made is crazy and I can’t believe that many people think they can get away with drinking and driving,” said senior communication major Makenzie Wynne. “I think that drinking and driving is so prevalent still because everyone thinks (a DUI) won’t happen to them and that they will be able to get away with it.”
The Public Safety Division of the Rohnert Park Police Department organizes all of the city’s DUI checkpoints and works closely with the Department of Public Safety in an effort to crackdown on drunk driving.Funding for this checkpoint was provided to the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Local law enforcement does much to tackle this issue, and protect visitors, residents and students alike, by setting up periodic DUI checkpoints such as the one held last month.