Highway Patrol setting up DUI checkpoint in Lawton - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Highway Patrol setting up DUI checkpoint in Lawton

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)-While many of us may head out to celebrate the New Year, The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and The Lawton Police department will set up a DUI checkpoint sometime this weekend in Lawton. 

It is required by the Supreme Court to have signs leading up to every checkpoint. The checkpoint is part of a state and nation wide program called ENDUI.
The purpose is to simply put an end to drivers drinking behind the wheel. More than 10 thousand people across the country died from DUI crashes last year. While most people don't think about the dangers and the consequences of driving drunk, it can affect your life, your family and the people around you.

Trooper Nathan Mackey said he doesn't even know where the checkpoint will be set up just yet, but he says there will in fact be one in Comanche County sometime tomorrow, December 31. Their goal is to catch people drinking and driving.  They hope it will make you think twice before getting behind the wheel this weekend.

"It doesn't affect most people until it affects you then it has a very big impact", said Mackey.

Oklahoma High Patrol Trooper Nathan Mackey said over 10 thousand people died from DUI crashes last year. 170 of them were from Oklahoma.  Mackey said most people don't take drinking and driving behind the wheel seriously but he has seen what it can do to people. 

"I have worked many fatality crashes involving small children all the way up to elderly people that had a DUI element in it. It's always particularly hard knowing that it is very preventable and very selfish act on somebody's part that took the life on an innocent person you don't think much of it until its your family and when you realize it's your family its a really big issue", said Mackey.

Mackey said OHP does not actually choose a spot for the checkpoint. They work closely with the city of Lawton and the State of Oklahoma using heat maps to see where the most alcohol related violations have occurred. 

"It helps to kind of zone in on the areas that we need to focus our enforcement on, so if we have a particular region or particular part of the  city, or county that we are having a DUI problem in we know that's where we need to set up our emphases and checkpoints in order to curb that issue."

Mackey said they want to encourage everyone to be safe, but their main goal is keeping people safe on the roads this weekend. 

"If you come through our checkpoint and you give us your license and insurance and you haven't been drinking you are going to go within 5 seconds it is not going to be a big issues. People need to realize that we are doing this for public safety, we are doing it for them, for their relatives and things like that we want everyone to be safe. I have a family, you have a family, everyone has a family and we want them to be safe", said Mackey.

If you do not feel safe driving home, remember you can always call a cab, or catch a ride with a friend.  Triple AAA  is offering free rides home through their program 'Tipsy Tow'.All you have to do is call 1-800 AAA HELP and ask for Tipsy Tow.

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