What could happen at a DUI checkpoint

A portable breath test device used by law enforcement to check for impaired drivers.

As St. Patrick's Day weekend draws to a close, the Boone County Sheriff's Department is urging people not to drive while intoxicated.

Sergeant Brian Leer said Friday night's DUI checkpoint was busy, although deputies did not end up arresting anyone for DUI. Leer said his department checked approximately 400 cars betweek 6:50 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

During that time, they issued eight non-DUI citations and arrested on person for possession of marijuana.

Leer said they have a developed set of procedures in place to screen for intoxicated motorists.

"After we make contact with the driver, we'll look for obvious signs of impairment," Leer said. "We'll be checking for bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, open containers, odors, things like that."

"If we see any indication or the driver admits to using stuff like that, we'll bring them out and further investigate whether they're too intoxicated or impaired to drive the vehicle," Leer said.

After the suspect driver steps out of their car, the sheriff will administer standardized field sobriety tests to determine if the person is intoxicated. If a driver fails a field sobriety test, deputies will bring them inside the Breath Alcohol Testing Van, or "BATVAN" for further testing.

Once inside the van, deputies will begin arrest paperwork. After reading a suspect their rights, deputies will ask the suspected impaired driver to perform a breath test.

Refusal to perform an alcohol breath test in Missouri will result in an automatic suspension of a person's driver license for one year.

If a driver does perform the test and their breath alcohol level registers above a .08, they will be placed under arrest for DUI and taken to county jail for processing.

"It's just not worth the risk," Leer said. "I tell everyone if you're going to drink any alcoholic beverages, any type of intoxicants, don't get behind the wheel."