Berwyn Law enforcement officers have raised eyebrows as a result of their actions last Summer and the swollen numbers of citations. Allegations that a DUI checkpoint had been used to stop vehicles without adhering to federal guidelines. A sworn testimony from a member of Berwyn law enforcement points towards officials applying pressure to meet ticket quotas. The DUI checkpoint on that evening while not following guidelines gave officers the opportunity to access drivers that may well not have happened otherwise.
Guidelines have been in place for decades to define clear parameters for the benefit of officers to ensure drivers are not being profiled. Departments are required to draft protocol for random and DUI checkpoint stops and law enforcement officers on average stop one in three to one in five vehicles to confirm insurance, license along with any equipment violations. Some drivers may be required to pull in to a further screening area and their details are processed through government records.
On the evening of June 28th 2014 a traffic light had been reset in order that drivers slowed down. Berwyn officers then directed selected drivers in to a secondary holding area and tickets were administered. Additional violations were also checked and some arrests along with numerous citations were made. Chief of Berwyn police advised on how the DUI checkpoint had been handled and others had been conducted in the same way although no comparisons were immediately available and further advised the State sanctions the department’s roadside checks. However the particular DUI checkpoint in Berwyn impeded traffic and did not follow IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) protocol.
Berwyn being a mid sized suburb with a population of approximately 57,000 yet has been on the receiving end of the third largest citations of any Illinois municipality within the grant year of 2014 through DUI checkpoint and patrols. These figures fall only behind Chicago and the city of Calumet. The activity by Berwyn police produced over 1,700 citations. No more than 1% led to a DUI arrest.
For every driver arrested for a drink related offence additionally 145 tickets were dished out. Half were for seat belt infractions. Throughout the state in 2014 almost 90,000 similar violations had been issued as a result of a DUI checkpoint or patrol. Citations issued that led to a DUI arrest averaged 3%.