SOLON -- The Solon Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint May 26 in the city of Solon.
The checkpoint is designed to detect impaired drivers before they can hurt themselves or someone else and to educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving, according to Solon police.
In 2016, there were 12,243 alcohol-related crashes on Ohio roadways, resulting in 346 fatalities and 7,199 injuries.
"Because impaired driving accounts for so many of our region's traffic safety deaths, it is imperative that we find ways to keep impaired drivers off the roadways and to convince those who've been drinking not to get behind the wheel in the first place," says Solon Officer Roy Cunningham.
The Solon Police Department uses a dual approach that combines sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to combat impaired driving in the city. At sobriety checkpoints, law enforcement officers stop vehicles in a predetermined sequence (such as every third car) to evaluate drivers for indications of alcohol or drug impairment. Saturation patrols involve increased enforcement targeting a specific geographic area to identify and arrest impaired drivers, with officers looking for signs of impaired driving, such as excessive speeding, weaving or driving left of center.
Together, the two approaches allow officers to blanket areas with high crash histories and raise the odds that impaired drivers will be caught, Solon police say.
"Highly visible and well publicized checkpoints are an important part of the equation because they increase the perceived risk of arrest and make people think twice about drinking and driving," Cunningham said. "We want the public to know where we are, and we want those who read about the checkpoint to tell everyone they know that we're cracking down on impaired driving in the city because we want everyone on our roadways to be safe."
The Solon Police Department reminds people to make smart choices if they are going to be drinking, by designating a driver; calling a cab; staying at home or a hotel; and calling a friend or family member.