Letters to the editor for February 14, 2007

Dear Editor,

Driver&8217;s License Check Points; uniformed Police Officers standing at an intersection, stopping vehicles and asking to see driver&8217;s licenses, proof of insurance, etc.

If you don&8217;t understand the logic behind this enforcement activity, it probably does seem like a strange way to conduct police business.

I want to explain from a police Officer&8217;s perspective, the logic behind this important law enforcement activity and why we ask law abiding citizens to bear with us as they pass through one of these &8220;DL checks&8221; as they&8217;re called in Police lingo.

While the majority of law abiding citizens I&8217;ve talked to expressed appreciation and gratitude about such operations, there is a small minority who view them as an unnecessary impositions.

If you&8217;re in that minority, please listen to our reason for standing in the hot or cold, day or night to conduct these operations.

First, they catch more drunk drivers.

Another reason is a directive from our Mayor, Terry Allen.

Here is a partial list of misdemeanors issued by Vincent Police last year; many of which were issued at DL check points:

– Attempting to Elude Police – 7

– Carrying Concealed Weapon – 2

– Driver&8217;s License Violations – 205

– DUI – 24

– No Proof of Insurance – 205

– Open Container of Alcohol – 33

– Possession of Alcohol by Minor – 7

– Drug Related Charges – 47

This does not include the numerous felony charges or the two prison escapees captured as they passed through DL checks last year.

So, are DL checks a justified inconvenience or just the Police intruding on the rights and freedoms of citizens?

I think the answer depends somewhat on your perspective.

For instance, if you or someone you know was cited at one, you may not like DL checks much.

One very positive effect of DL checks is that people who pass through talk about the checks.

Word of mouth can be an effective deterrent to such things as drunk driving.

The Police don&8217;t expect you to even act happy to see us at a DL check; people don&8217;t usually contact us when they are having a good day.

Just try to understand that the few moments you spend showing your license at a DL check is an important part of our enforcement activities and our service to you as a citizen.

Remember, the guy behind you may be drunk, or worse.

Officer David Latimer

Vincent Police Departmen