Over 6,000 people were arrested last year in South Dakota and charged with driving while intoxicated. One way law enforcement hopes to keep people safe on our state roads is with sobriety check points.
The number of impaired drivers on the roads is not going down, but that is not stopping law enforcement from doing what they can to protect everyone else.
That is where sobriety check points come into play.
"We are looking for impaired drivers, whether that's alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs, any kind of impairment," Sioux Falls Highway Patrol Officer Nicholas Jensen said.
There is no wiggle room. If there is any suspicion of impaired driving, tests will be performed. It could also lead to being pulled over for further inspection.
"We see a high number of impaired drivers, we also see a lot of drugs, such as marijuana and other drugs," Officer Jensen said.
Law enforcement is making it clear that alcohol is not the only thing that will impair your judgment on the road.
"Prescription drugs are drugs, and when they have a warning label on them that says ' Do not drive when you use this drug,' you shouldn't drive," Officer Jensen said.
Impaired driving is impaired driving there is no discrimination on the method of impairment.
"I don't know necessarily that there's an increase in it. I think that troopers and law enforcement alike are better trained on how to look for the indicators of different drugs," Officer Jensen said.
While there are a good number of drivers handcuffed and taken to jail from the checkpoint, officers never want to resort to that option.
"I'd rather see this checkpoint have a result of zero drunk or impaired drivers," Officer Jensen said.
They just want you to have a safe night on the roads.
Sobriety checkpoints are set up at different points during the year at times when they can keep the most people safe on South Dakota roads.