Local News

Task force makes over 200 DWI arrests in a year

Posted June 19, 2010 10:54 p.m. EDT
Updated June 20, 2010 3:38 p.m. EDT

A checkpoint at Wade Avenue and Interstate 40 Saturday night found 79 violations, said Phyllis Stephens, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office. Agents arrested three people wanted on outstanding warrants and issued 10 citations for DWI and three for having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

— A Wake County task force created a little over a year ago is catching drunken driving suspects and arresting fugitives from the law.

In just the past three months, the Wake County Traffic Safety Task Force has made about 500 arrests, including 36 for driving while impaired and seven on outstanding warrants.

Run by the sheriff's office and smaller police forces, the task force conducts periodic, unannounced traffic checkpoints to catch suspected drunken drivers and speeders, serve outstanding warrants and to enforce other traffic laws.

"We're out there to make sure you have your seat belt on and you're in compliance with the law," Officer Benjamin Deese of the Garner Police Department said.

A checkpoint at Wade Avenue and Interstate 40 Saturday night found 79 violations, said Phyllis Stephens, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office. Agents arrested three people wanted on outstanding warrants and issued 10 citations for DWI and three for having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

Since it was launched in April 2009, the task force has conducted 37 checkpoints and arrested more than 200 motorists on DWI charges.

Deese offered some advice for drivers going through traffic checkpoints.

"People will pull up without having their seat belt on, and they say they took it off because they're getting their driver's license," he said. "Keep it on, and if you pull up and have to take it off then to get your driver's license, that's fine."