A routine press release from the Howard County Police Department on an upcoming sobriety checkpoint this weekend generated 89 shares, 64 “likes” and more than 25 comments on Facebook.
What was all the fuss about?
Reactions to the Tuesday post from the department ranged from worries about drinking and driving, texting and driving, to questioning why the police department had to inform the public prior to a sobriety checkpoint --- doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
“I think it's stupid that the police [department] has to tell the public these things,” wrote Robin Maldonado-Shaw on the Howard County Police Department Facebook page. “You drink and drive you should go to jail! I know plenty of people who have just been slapped on the wrist yet have multiple dui's. It seems someone has to die in order for laws to change and by that time it's too dang late.”
According to the release, the department will check for drunk drivers at unspecified locations this weekend “to promote awareness and reduce the number of alcohol-impaired drivers on the roads.”
“Advance notice of an upcoming sobriety checkpoint is required to be announced through the local media, but the disclosure of the precise location is not,” wrote Howard County Police Department officials on the Facebook page.
“The checkpoint is part of the agency’s traffic safety initiative to keep county roads safe for residents and travelers,” the department wrote.
Police said the checkpoint would be clearly marked with “signs, lights and uniformed officers” who will be checking for drunken driving, and failure to use seat belts and child safety seats.
Several online posters praised the department for its efforts to crack down on impaired driving.
In 2012, Howard County police arrested 1,174 people for driving under the influence. Thirty percent of Howard County’s fatal collisions in 2012 were alcohol-related, according to the police department.
“I can only speak for myself, but I chose to believe the cops DO really care about the people they are here to protect,” wrote Paula M. Sortino. “And if I ever needed protecting I hope a cop is there for me! Thank you again HCPD!”
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