County checkpoint yields some surprising numbers
Posted: March 19, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — While some were out looking for gold at local bars over the weekend, police were out in full force protecting the roads.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office conducted roaming patrols Friday night and a checkpoint Saturday night, stopping a more than 400 vehicles.
And while drunken drivers may have been the focus of officers’ efforts, Deputy Warren Gosnell — traffic supervisor for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office — said it was a different offense that took him by surprise.
He said that during Saturday’s checkpoint — which took place from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the 1000 block of Martinsburg Pike (U.S. 11) — deputies stopped 12 suspended drivers and 11 unlicensed drivers.
“We almost doubled [the numbers],” he said, adding that a checkpoint in December yielded eight unlicensed drivers and five suspended drivers.
He speculated that there may be a number of reasons for the rise in numbers, but said to get the number down, there needed to be stiffer penalties.
“It’s all a matter of citizen compliance,” he added.
Other numbers from the patrols Friday and checkpoint Saturday included four DUIs, two drug offenses, five speeding offenses, a reckless driving charge and numerous other traffic-related offenses.
The increased efforts were part of a DMV grant for alcohol enforcement, Gosnell said.
Winchester Police Department Sgt. Frank Myrtle said officers arrested three individuals for DUIs over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
— Contact Melissa Boughton at email@example.com