Are DWI checkpoints working?
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is giving credit to law enforcement agencies for the decrease in deadly car crashes where alcohol is at fault.
"Since we started doing checkpoints, since we started encouraging no refusals, since we started doing DWI courts and doing more outreach and education, we've seen that the alcohol-related fatalities in Louisiana is at 41 percent, which is the lowest it's ever been," Highway Safety Commission Executive Director John LeBlanc said.
The decrease of alcohol-related fatal wrecks have led to a decrease in deadly wrecks overall. In 2007, there were nearly 1000 fatal crashes on Louisiana roads. Last year, the number was 652.
"If you think about going from 1,000 people dead to about 650, that is tremendous, especially if it could be you or I," LeBlanc said.
"When you're talking about drinking and driving there has to be zero tolerance," Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie said. "Too many people are killed in early ages by DWI drivers and we are just not going to tolerate that."
Several times a week the BRPD'S DWI Task Force posts up checkpoints at undisclosed locations to catch unsuspecting drunk drivers. Since 2010, the task force has arrested more than 1000 people for suspected drunk driving each year.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission believes those arrests have a direct correlation with the decrease of car wrecks involving alcohol.
Baton Rouge Police recently received a $600,000 grant from the LHSC. With that money, it has a no-nonsense approach to drunk driving.
"Chances are you're going to get caught. Chances are you're going to run into one of us someplace in the city," Dabadie said.