Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
What is a Saturation Point?

What is a Saturation Point?

Last year, the Kansas City Police Department and other Missouri law enforcement agencies lost funding for sobriety checkpoints, shifting more than $19 million in federal funds to saturation patrols.

A saturation patrol consists of a large number of police officers patrolling a specific, unannounced area for a set time in order to watch for intoxicated drivers. Similar to sobriety checkpoints, the main purpose of saturation patrols is to deter drunk driving by increasing the perceived risk of arrest. Saturation patrols often occur during holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, and Fourth of July.

Saturation patrol operations are flexible in both the number of law enforcement officers needed and the time that each officer participates in the patrol. On the other hand, sobriety checkpoints can be costly if paid media is used to announce them.

As far as effectiveness is concerned, saturation patrols have been used by police departments longer than DUI checkpoints. Developed as New York State’s Zone Enforcement Reduction Operation in the late 1990s, Project Zero Patrol was a statewide saturation patrol initiative that proved effective at deterring drunk driver. Since being implemented in 2003, Minnesota’s Operation Nighttime Concentrated Alcohol Patrol (NightCAP) program resulted in double the annual number of stops and citations. In 2008, a demonstration program in Michigan determined that saturation patrols can be highly effective in reducing fatal drunk driving accidents when accompanied by immense publicity.

Saturation patrols are legal in all states, including Kansas and Missouri.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Kansas or Missouri, request a free consultation with our Kansas City criminal defense lawyer at Rokusek Stein Law, LLC today.


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