WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — The state's
"Booze It & Lose It"
checkpoints are supposed to be a filter for drunken drivers, but the campaign is also becoming a dragnet for all types of crimes.
Since Nov. 20, nearly 2,800 drivers have been arrested for drunken driving. The checkpoints are also driving home a point to wanted criminals -- more people are being arrested for other types of crimes than for drunk driving.
"During the checkpoints we catch murderers, rapists, people who defected from the military, even missing juveniles," said Al Eisele, who tests drunken drivers.
In the past three weeks, 190 drivers in the Triangle have been arrested for drunken driving. Police have also made 545 arrests for other crimes and have recovered 51 stolen cars.
"It's not that uncommon for stolen weapons and drug dealers and stolen cars to come through these checkpoints," Eisele said.
Last week, Garner police captured a suspected rapist at a checkpoint.
Ricardo Rodriquez was wanted for three counts of first-degree rape. Police said he was also drinking and driving.
"Also during that checkpoint we found a missing juvenile who was driving a stolen car and we found drugs in the car," Eisele said.
Law enforcement officials said they plan to conduct more of the checkpoints throughout the year.