Impaired driving arrests, by location

Couple things:

Great feature by Adam Wasny in the WFP this weekend on the Checkstop program, followed by a good story from Welch and virtually all other Winnipeg media outlets on the successes of this year’s crackdown, which has already exceeded years past in terms of arrests.

I take issue with the service — and the media — trumpeting that the tactic of targeting bars and social venues as “new,” however. They’ve been doing this for a long while now.

Instead, it would appear that the service has boosted staffing levels for the Checkstop initiative, resulting in more checks and roadside arrests.

From Dec. 2008 – official statement:

Police will be strictly enforcing Impaired Driving legislation, targeting areas of the city where social functions that involve the consumption of alcohol take place. Police will be using all tools at their disposal, including physical coordination tests and drug evaluations, to detect and arrest those who choose to drive impaired.

My gut feeling is that the real tactic is a simple one: Add more bodies. Who knows, maybe MPI or the MLCC ponied up some dough.

Another observation: For the first time, the WPS is giving a short description of the events leading up to a drunk driver’s arrest, which helps the media ‘sell’ the story about the stupidity of drunk driving more.

And as much as I admire the idea of the story, thumbs down to CTV for their recent report about DUI convictions stemming from previous years’ Checkstop arrests.

Picking 15 cases at random and then reporting the outcome isn’t enough to say the “majority” are resulting in convictions. Especially when there were 57 + arrests resulting in charges last season.

Do them all, and then make some conclusions. I suspect the result would be surprising.