In films, dating back to when pictures were still silent, police officers have been portrayed as lying in wait — many times hidden from sight — for an apparent criminal-type reckless driver or speedster. In films, these are referred to as “speed traps,” and that name has carried over to our vernacular.
This past Saturday night, the Wayne County sheriff’s patrol division teamed up with state troopers and the Pikeville Police Department in setting up a DWI checking station at U.S. 13 North and Tommy’s Road. Unlike the aforementioned speed traps, these types of checkpoints are designed to catch people driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and myriad other possible violations.
Unexpectedly for drivers and passengers caught up in this blacktop sting, if they violated the law, the officers lying in wait wrote them tickets and made arrests. This particular checkpoint issued seven DWI charges along with citations for various traffic violations including nine no operator’s licenses, three driving while license revoked, four registration violations and one child safety seat violation.
Also, one wanted person was arrested, 10 misdemeanor drug violations were discovered, and one felony drug charge was issued, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office Tuesday morning.
At the checking station, police had a Mobile Breath Alcohol Testing unit or BAT mobile. The unit has several breath testing instruments on site as well as a magistrate. All offenders arrested were transported to the Wayne County jail after going before the magistrate, the statement reads.
Now, many people will complain, especially those arrested or ticketed on Saturday night, that these checkpoints are examples of police entrapment. Entrapment is defined as an officer hidden from view or in disguise who encourages people to break the law so that an arrest can be made. Police waiting at a checkpoint, or hidden within brush or behind an obstacle, is doing nothing to cause people to become criminal law violators. If the motorists are driving fast, recklessly or under the influence, they are breaking the law without any help from police. They deserve to be ticketed or arrested.
We fully support police and encourage law enforcement to run as many checkpoints and speed traps as possible. Putting checkpoints into practice saves lives. And we also encourage people who drive fast, recklessly or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to stop breaking the law. When drivers break the law, they endanger themselves and everyone else on the road. Such violators deserve the fines they receive and going to jail after being found guilty, and they have nothing to complain about when it comes to police.