Illinois motorists driving on the South Side of Chicago might notice a higher than usual police presence. On March 3, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., police are planning to crack down on drinking and driving with a targeted effort. The Chicago Police Department has announced its DUI Saturation Patrol will spend most of its Saturday night in the 6th District, which includes Gresham.
Saturation patrols are a tactic employed nationwide by law enforcement officials to combat drinking and driving, speeding, and other safety hazards. During saturation patrols, higher than normal numbers of officers are assigned to a specific area. Police will be looking for signs of impaired driving such as speeding, weaving, driving with no lights, and other indicators a motorist may be operating under the influence. The 6th district effort will include the presence of a mobile testing unit to speed processing of suspects and allow officers to spend more time focused on patrol. While the primary focus is impaired drivers, officers will also be equipped with speed detection devices and intend to step up enforcement of general traffic laws including seat belt requirements.
Many law enforcement officials and organizations favoring stricter DUI laws promote saturation patrols as among the most effective strategies against drunk drivers. Police departments often prefer them because they generally require fewer on-duty hours than DUI checkpoints and may catch offenders who simply avoid traveling near checkpoints. Arrest per hour statistics illustrate that blanket patrols can be as effective as checkpoints and are an effective tool in the arsenal of law enforcement.
A DUI charge can have long-ranging and serious consequences including incarceration, large fines, heavy community service burdens, and the loss of driving privileges. Insurance rates will go up, and job prospects can be affected. Consulting a qualified criminal defense lawyer may help anyone charged with DUI/OWI know his or her options and strategies for navigating a difficult time.
Additional unlinked source: Greene, J. January 2003. Battling DUI: A comparative analysis of checkpoints and saturation patrols – driving under the influence. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Retrieved from https://www2.fbi.gov/publications/leb/2003/jan2003/jan03leb.htm