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Why do police publicize traffic safety checkpoints?

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville Police will be conducting traffic safety checkpoints on Saturday, May 27th. Lt. Stacy Bates said checkpoints have to be approved in advance and signed off by a municipal court judge.

Some people wonder why police inform the public of the checkpoints, but Lt. Bates said it's required by the court to notify the public. He said they don't release the exact locations or times of the checkpoints.

Huntsville Police say there are 40 designated hotspots throughout The Rocket City. Longtime attorney Mark McDaniel has represented several DUI cases throughout his career.

He said the public forgets one important piece of information when checkpoints are announced. "You have these checkpoints, but that doesn't mean that there are not other police officers out there giving out DUI tickets," McDaniel said.

He said some people think if they stay away from checkpoints they will be alright, but that's not the case. "I've had clients say 'well I didn't go through the checkpoint...' well there are officers all over the place," McDaniel said.

Huntsville Police conducted a checkpoint on May 11, 2017 for three hours at Pulaski Pike and Oakwood Avenue.

They arrested two people for DUI at the time. Lt. Bates said two people may seem like a small number, but they got the offenders off of the road from hurting other people.

McDaniel said he's seen several cases where more DUI's are issued outside of the checkpoints then at them. "I have cases, so many cases throughout the year where the person goes up to the checkpoint gets close to it, then they turn around because they are intoxicated. Well there are officers out there watching that," McDaniel explained.

HPD wants to remind the public that all checkpoints are paid for with grant money-- not city or local tax dollars. The grant pays for equipment and covers the cost of the officers working the checkpoints.