MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis police have announced a pair of roadside checkpoints for Saturday night, the sixth such operation planned in recent weeks.
But if recent checkpoints are any indication, you probably won’t see officers stopping vehicles at the announced intersections.
Checkpoints in February and March have been canceled for a variety of reasons or converted into heavier “saturation patrols” on a given night.
Checkpoints for February 22 were canceled because of rain, while March 8’s were changed to a “ticket saturation” because of the weather, according to a Memphis Police spokesperson.
Checkpoints for March 16 were canceled for an unspecified reason, and March 23 checkpoints were changed to another saturation patrol.
That patrol netted two misdemeanors, 26 speeding tickets, two drivers on suspended licenses, four cars with state registration issues, and 14 other violations. It wasn’t clear if any suspected DUI drivers were arrested during the patrol.
The Facebook announcement for March 30 checkpoints says officers will be checking drivers on Summer near Mendenhall and on Winchester near Germantown. The checkpoints will be held from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Tennessee agencies are required to publicize the location and times of checkpoints under state law. A 1997 State Supreme Court opinion mandates that checkpoints follow “predetermined operational guidelines” so a driver’s constitutional rights are not violated.
The Memphis Police checkpoints are operated with federal grant money administered through the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.
"Checkpoints and saturation patrols are effective enforcement initiatives. THSO funding can be used for both. Both are supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and are considered countermeasures that work,” THSO spokesperson Arriale Tabson said in an email.
THSO does not specify how many checkpoints or saturation patrols should take place, and officers are only paid for overtime hours actually worked, Tabson said.