DWI checkpoint in Boone County yields seven arrests

At Boone County's DWI checkpoints, every car will be stopped and most will continue on their journey, but the Sheriff's Department has a special ride for those who have been drinking.

"As you can see, the vehicles come up and pull away very quickly unless there's an issue," said Sgt. Brian Leer of the Boone County Sheriff's Department. "If there's an issue where we detect odor of intoxicants, anything that would indicate that they are impaired or that they've been consuming alcohol... then we ask them to step out of the vehicle and do a roadside investigation.

Leer's department worked with Columbia Police Saturday night to conduct a small checkpoint on a road near Interstate 70. Sergeant Leer explained the goal of the checkpoints is very simple. "Impaired drivers are very dangerous," Leer said. "They are dangerous to themselves, lives are lost each year. They are a danger to the motoring public, so we want to identify them and remove those people from the roadway."

When authorities stop a car, the interaction begins with a simple conversation. What the driver may not realize is that a lot more takes place in those first 30 seconds.

"We look for general things. Someone who has poor dexterity, odor of intoxicants, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech," Leer said. "Confusion, mumbling... the odor of intoxicants is huge."

Cordell Trimble was riding in a car that got stopped. He wasn't arrested, but he says it's an experience he won't forget.

"I'm sure I will tell people about it," Trimble said. "You know, just the story of what happened. You think it's never going to happen, but it did, it did."

Out of 100 cars checked, Saturday's checkpoint yielded seven arrests - four for DWI. That's one out of every 25 cars with an impaired driver taken off the road.