WADSWORTH — Last weekend’s sobriety checkpoint netted three drunken-driving arrests.
The Medina County OVI Task Force on April 26 checked 420 vehicles at the checkpoint in the 700 block of High Street in Wadsworth, just south of Interstate 76.
None of the arrests came directly from the checkpoint, but from “saturation patrols” conducted in the surrounding area. Two drivers agreed to testing and were found to have blood-alcohol levels of 0.301 and 0.196 . The legal limit in Ohio is 0.08. The third driver refused to take the test.
Thirty-eight other traffic stops were made that night, resulting in two misdemeanor arrests for drug paraphernalia possession and traffic citations for speeding and running red lights. Twenty-one cars were diverted at the checkpoint and one driver was cited for operating a vehicle without a driver’s license.
The checkpoint was the fourth one conducted since October, which began the latest grant year.
Checkpoints of this kind are funded by federal grants and are designed to deter and intercept impaired drivers.
According to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, police are required to announce the time and location of sobriety checkpoints in order to avoid violating Fourth Amendment search and seizure laws. Members of the Medina County OVI Task Force have said the goal of such checkpoints is to deter driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not to make a ton of arrests.
So far this year, Medina County has seen three fatal crashes — two of which are suspected to be related to drugs or alcohol, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.