JOPLIN, MO.--- Officers hold sobriety checkpoints several times a year to help prevent alcohol related accidents, which account for just under half of all traffic fatalities.
"If we can reduce those, we can reduce the fatalities and the injuries associated with those crashes," said Sgt. Rusty Rives, Joplin Police Department.
While this type of enforcement might catch drivers off guard, officers say they're not trying to be sneaky. They're actually required by law to notify the public about checkpoints in advance.
"One of our goals is to provide people with the information that this is here. This is going on, and again get them to think ahead and think about how they want to do that," said Sgt. Rives.
Whether they make several arrests or none, law enforcement officials are making their presence known.
"If we can just convince one person not to drink and drive, that may save one or more lives for that particular evening," said Sgt. Rives.
Checkpoints cause people to think twice about getting behind the wheel after too many drinks.
"All we're trying to do is get people to plan ahead, think responsibly, and think about other people they may be affecting also," said Sgt. Rives.
There have been 12 DWI Task Force checkpoints in Southwest Missouri since the beginning of the year. The task force is made up of officers from communities in the area, and there can be anywhere from 15 to 35 law enforcement officials at each checkpoint.
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