Interdiction of impaired drivers has always been a core mission of the Massachusetts State Police, one that Troopers fulfill in various ways -- through regular patrols out of 37 MSP Barracks across the state, dedicated patrols targeting specific trouble spots as identified by statistical analysis, and sobriety checkpoints set up on busy roads in areas of high incidence of drunk driving crashes and arrests. One such checkpoint was in operation on the night of Thursday, Sept. 7 into the early morning of Friday, Sept. 8 on Route 18 in New Bedford.
At checkpoints, Troopers greet every vehicle that comes through the checkpoint, and if the initial interaction gives the Trooper reason to suspect further investigation is warrant, the driver is waived over to a safe area off the side for further conversation with Troopers. After that, if a Trooper suspects the driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, standardized field sobriety tests will be administered. Based on observations, conversation with the driver, and the result of the field sobriety tests, the Trooper will determine if the motorist will be arrested for operating under the influence. Checkpoints are coordinated and overseen by the MSP's Traffic Programs Section.
Here are some scenes from last Thursday night's checkpoint, which did result in the arrest of several suspected impaired operators.