Boone County Sheriff's Department sobriety checkpoint set for this weekend

Sergeant Brian Leer shows three separate field sobriety tests drivers could take

Boone County Sheriff's Department sobriety checkpoint

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Boone County Sheriff's Department will run a sobriety checkpoint within the county limits at anytime this weekend until June 22.

To determine if a driver is under the influence, Sgt. Brian Leer with the Boone County Sheriff's Department said Friday deputies use physical observations alongside field sobriety tests.

If deputies smells alcohol or drugs or sees bloodshot eyes, they will ask you to step out of your car to complete the field sobriety tests.

However, those tests are not pass or fail. Instead, Leer said they look for little indicators during the test that prove impairment. Then, deputies will make a DWI arrest.

Those tests include a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which monitors your eye movement, a balance test and the walk-and-turn test. How drivers perform these tests will be considered with their physical features to make an arrest.

Leer pointed out is people assume drinking one beer will lead to a DWI, or the opposite, you have to drink 12 beers to get a DWI. He said that depends on several factors, including gender, weight and the alcohol content of the consumed drink. Some people have even been arrested for a DWI, even though they were under the legal limit.

Leer told ABC 17 that means drivers should just avoid drinking whenever you plan to drive.

After the arrest is made, deputies ask drivers to take a breathalyzer test. In Boone County, refusing the breathalyzer test immediately revokes a person's driver's license for one year. If the driver consents to taking the test and fails, the license will only be suspended.

Impaired drivers will be arrested on DWI charges regardless of taking the test or not. A third DWI arrest is considered a felony DWI with harsher punishment.

Leer encourages drivers to be patient while waiting in line at the checkpoint. Anyone who turns around or tries to avoid the checkpoint will be chased and stopped by other law enforcement in the area.

This weekend's checkpoint is funded through a grant from MODOT and is one of six to eight DWI checkpoints the sheriff's department hosts annually.

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