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With only two arrests for DWI, one for DWAI and a number of minor tickets and violations, Genesee County law enforcement are labeling this year's St. Patrick's Day weekend "very successful."

"It's known as maybe a little 'heavier drinking weekend,'" says Sheriff's road patrol chief Gordon Dibble. "We want to make sure people are safe so we put out DWI checkpoints...and what we call 'saturation patrols,' or extra patrols."

The Sheriff's Department collaborated with Batavia City Police, LeRoy Police and State Troopers for checkpoints and added patrols for the weekend. Only two people were charged at checkpoints for drinking-and-driving on Saturday or Sunday. Both were stopped at a City of Batavia – and both were out-of-county residents.

Another arrest was made by a patrolman in Corfu.

But Dibble noted that checkpoints normally only account for about one percent of all DWI arrests.

"The goal of road-checks is really heightened awareness," says Dibble. "They're really about raising the public's awareness, as much as making arrests."


There was extra money in the pipeline this year to fund the checkpoints, in the form of a grant from the Governor's Traffic Safety initiative. The grant required that each checkpoint have a Drug Recognition Expert on-hand. As it turned out, the "DRE's" did not perform any diagnosis on drivers.

But despite the extra expense, Dibble still calls the weekend a success.

"People still had a good time, and they got home safely," he noted.

 

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KenBarrett
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