Members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and area law enforcement agencies - including the Grove Police Department and Delaware County Sheriff's Office - will conduct an ENDUI check-point on Friday, Aug. 5 in Delaware County.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Zachary Woods said the checkpoint will take place near the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and Ballerina Street, near Sail Boat Bridge, on northwestern edge of Grove.
Woods said the checkpoint will take place from at least 9 p.m. to midnight, and is designed to encourage area residents to consider safe driving as summer winds down and thoughts turn toward school and fall activities.
During the evening, ENDUI Prevention teams will conduct the checkpoint to coincide with regular patrols aimed at impaired drivers.
Woods said the checkpoint, which by OHP policy must be publicized at least 24 hours in advance, is not only designed to enforce traffic laws related to impaired driving, but to also educate drivers about traffic safety.
During a ENDUI stop, troopers and local law enforcement personnel will "flag" down a driver, who is then directed into a corral established on the roadway for the screenings.
Woods said for drivers without issues, the entire stop should take less than a minute. Drivers with issues will be directed to a parking lot, near Sail Boat Bridge.
Woods said law enforcement personnel working the checkpoint will include the Grove Police Department, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Grand River Dam Authority, and the Cherokee Marshals.
According to information released by the OHP, impaired driving is considered "one of Oklahoma's deadliest crimes."
In 2013, 189 people died on Oklahoma roadways in crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, according to statistics kept by the OHP.
Woods said the goal of the operation is to have a highly visible ENDUI program that will discourage people who have been drinking or using impairing substances from getting behind the wheel, and to address those who do make a poor decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Driving impaired or riding with someone impaired is not worth the risk, Woods said. The consequences are serious, not only because lives are at stake, but because the trauma and financial costs incurred while driving while impaired can be significant.
Woods said violators face jail time, the loss or suspension of driver licenses, increased insurance rates, and dozens of other fees.
ENDUI Prevention team members encourage citizens of the state to make smart decisions when going out to drink, including designating a non-drinking driver or by calling a family member or friend for assistance when needed.
Additionally, residents are encouraged to read medication warning labels and remember to never drive after taking a medication or substance that can cause impairment.