PINETOP — The White Mountain DUI Task Force will have a pre-Labor Day checkpoint in front of the Arizona Game and Fish Office in Pinetop on Saturday, Aug. 29.

Pinetop-Lakeside Cmdr. David Sargent, who is also the White Mountain DUI Task Force public information officer, said the checkpoint will set up between 7-8 p.m. and run until midnight or later as necessary.

Traffic will be restricted to a single lane in each direction to allow officers to check for drunk drivers or vehicles with designated drivers.

Designated drivers who have intoxicated passengers on board will get a special patch or coin showing they kept drunk drivers off the road by being a designated driver.

“There will also be wolf packs on patrol Friday and Saturday to catch anyone drinking and driving,” Sargent said.

Sargent sent out a pre-DUI checkpoint “thank you” to anyone who will be a designated driver this weekend and to those who stay home and celebrate with alcohol or find ways to get home other than driving themselves.

He noted those are the people who help the Pinetop-Lakeside Police Department keep the highways and roadways free of injuries or fatalities due to alcohol.

Sargent said the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office will help with transporting to jail anyone charged with DUI and taken into custody.

He noted the goal is to educate motorists to the point they will know better than to drink and drive. However, Sargent added, as much as the officers with the task force don’t like arresting people, they will do so if they find anyone operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

This is the eighth annual checkpoint for the task force, which has been in existence for 10 years.

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(2) comments


Sobriety checkpoints are permitted in Arizona. These checkpoints (also referred to as "mobile checkpoints" or "roadblocks") are police traffic stops that are not tied to any specific or individual suspicions. While the U.S. Supreme Court has made the DUI exemption to the Constitution, eleven states have found that sobriety checkpoints violate their own state constitutions or have outlawed them. In these states, individuals have more protections against unreasonable search and police sobriety roadblocks are prohibited. AZ is not one of them.

You are only required to show your license to police, not to surrender it. And you are not required to sign tickets. So there’s no good reason for you to have to open your window. You do not have to get out of your vehicle unless ordered (not asked) by an officer.

You have the legal right to:

Do not speak at all. Not one word.

Record everything.

Keep your hands where they can see them.

Show them your license and other requested documents through the window.

The law does not require you to surrender documents. Showing them is enough.

You are not required to sign tickets. So don't open your window.

Police are allowed to stop you at a checkpoint, but you are not required to open your window.

Never fight or physically resist.

If the officer states an order, comply.


^ OK thanks for the info. I've never had a bad experience with law enforcement here in the White Mountains. Usually, if you're courteous with them, they're courteous with you. Unless you're driving drunk, you shouldn't have a prob. I wish AZ would just legalize pot already. I think that would go a long way towards easing the tension between the citizens and the police. You still can't drive if you're smoking pot though.

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