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Ohio Law Enforcement Beefs Up Saturation Patrol to Crackdown on DUI

The summer months always seem to increase the amount of DUI arrests in Columbus, Ohio.  Across the United States, local law enforcement prepares for summertime drunk drivers.  You may see an increase in DUI checkpoints, traffic stops, or police patrolling late at night or in the wee hours of the morning.

Adding additional law enforcement and using saturation patrols rather than checkpoints is a more recent tactic being employed by the police in Ohio.  Columbus Police and other agencies like the Ohio State Highway Patrol are using these saturation patrols, rather than sobriety checkpoints or speed traps, to target Ohio DUI offenders.  If you were out and about this past Fourth of July holiday weekend when such plans put into effect, you may have noticed the increased police presence.

Since a 1990 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing law enforcement to use DUI checkpoints, law enforcement throughout the country has been using this tactic to catch drivers operating motor vehicles intoxicated.  A potential setback for police, however, is that it is required by law that the location of police DUI checkpoints be made public.  This is in order to protect your constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.

In addition, saturation patrols allow law enforcement to have coverage in a much larger area and less obviously target locations that typically have higher numbers of Ohio DUI arrests.  Saturation patrols are not just looking for drunk or impaired drivers, but they are looking for drivers committing other traffic violations including not wearing seatbelts, breaking traffic laws and failure to maintain proper speed.  This allows them to initiate a traffic stop that may ultimately result in a DUI arrest.

While the summer may bring warmer weather and make young and old alike want to party and enjoy summer, it’s never okay to get behind the wheel intoxicated.  Protect yourself and others by calling a cab, designating a driver, or being a designated driver.

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