The Webster Parish Sheriff's Office will again partner with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to conduct a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) sobriety checkpoint project.
In an effort to remind motorists of the increased need for safety on busy roadways, authorities have chosen Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26, to conduct their plan.
"During the summer we see an increase in recreational weekend travel," said Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton. "We want drivers to have added and enhanced awareness on the roads for their safety and the safety of others. These checkpoints are deliberate methods of reminding drivers of what is acceptable and what is not."
The sheriff's office will again have the opportunity to share access to LDWF's Intoxilyzer Van, a mobile office and command center, complete with an Intoxilyzer 5000.
Sexton said during a joint checkpoint conducted last year, the use of this technology aided authorities in the arrest and citation of dozens.
"The mobile unit allows officers to immediately capture the blood alcohol content of individuals suspected of intoxication and impaired operation of a vehicle," Sexton said. "Having use of this equipment and the professional assistance of the wildlife and fisheries agents will again make our efforts more effective and efficient."
Webster Sheriff's Chief Deputy Bobby Igo, who also serves as the director of the Sheriff's Community Action Directive Patrol team, indicated this specialized team will be involved in the effort.
"We'll have CAD patrol members there to not only participate in the task, but also to identify what areas our office should better focus on in the future," he said. "This team helps us to identify our problem areas and develop solutions for those concerns."
Impaired driving is an issue that concerns law enforcement across the nation.
According to Igo, it is common for drivers to look for ways to justify their illegal actions.
"Many times drivers will say, 'well, I only had two beers,' or 'it's only 10 in the morning'," he said. "A DWI is not about 'how many,' but rather about how the alcohol has affected your body – and it's absolutely not just a nighttime offense," he said.
Drivers who encounter the checkpoint will need to expect a slight delay in travel and are asked to be cooperative and understanding as officers and agents may choose to conduct a brief search of the vehicle or ask to speak with the operator and/or passengers.