Local NewsSt. Mary Parish

Berwick Police Department Announces DWI Checkpoint


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Berwick Police Chief David Leonard, Sr. has announced plans for a DWI checkpoint during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” national campaign, which runs from August 19, 2022, through September 5, 2022. The campaign is coordinated and funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission and the objective is to reduce the number of DWI related crashesthrough public education initiatives and enforcement efforts, thus making the roadways safer to travel.

On Saturday evening, September 3, 2022, a checkpoint has been planned to take place within the city limits of Berwick and will continue into the early morning hours of Sunday, September 4, 2022. Additional law enforcement officers from agencies throughout the parish and the Louisiana State Police will be on hand to assist. Officers will also be assigned to saturation patrols throughout the duration of this campaign to locate and remove impaired drivers from the roadways. They will also be looking for other traffic safety violations, including but not limited to seat belt usage, child restraint violations, and distracted driving.

According to the Berwick Police Department, a common question posed to law enforcement is, “Why do you announce the plans for these checkpoints instead of just surprising the drivers?” The answer is simple. The Louisiana Supreme Court has previously set forth guidelines for checkpoints, and “public notice” is a requirement. Regardless, the purpose of any checkpoint is not to “entrap” violators, but to bring awareness to driving laws, the dangers of impaired driving, and to help curb violations. In a statement released to KQKI News, the department said, “You will notice that we do not give out the specific location of the checkpoint other than, “in the city limits of Berwick.” Therefore, in order for someone to avoid a checkpoint, they would have to refrain from driving impaired altogether, which is the ultimate goal of these efforts.” 

Chief Leonard urges everyone to plan ahead and never drive after consuming alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs. Instead, designate a sober driver, or call a ride hailing service or cab to make sure you get home safely. Chief Leonard also asks for patience and cooperation when passing through this checkpoint and for recognizing the importance of raising awareness for these safety efforts.

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