Listen to this article here
This weekend’s Juneteenth festivities will include DUI checkpoints set up by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, but some are wondering why other weekends weren’t chosen.
Unlike last weekend’s famous biking festival, Tulsa Tough, in which participants bringing their own beer and drinking freely outside Tulsa’s downtown streets didn’t have to go through DUI checkpoints, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has chosen the weekend dedicated to celebrating the emancipation of slavery to implement their ENDUI program in Tulsa.
As part of the campaign to get drunk drivers off the street, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Tulsa Police, and Able Commission will set up a checkpoint in downtown Tulsa between 13th and Cincinnati, according to KTUL.
Tulsa Tough and Juneteenth Festival treated differently by Oklahoma Highway Patrol
DUI watchdog Responsibility.org noted that DUI’s have trended down by roughly 9% between 1982-2018, yet OHP has had to make more than 3,000 DUI arrests in a year, according to a Oklahoma Highway Safety Office 2018 Annual Report.
Yet, it appears that the state’s joint inter-agency program missed an opportunity to implement the program during Tulsa Tough, one of Tulsa’s biggest outdoor drinking events, aside from Octoberfest.
Like in other states, people and their families on Oklahoma’s roads and highways suffer when drunk drivers take off.
Checkpoints begin Friday night
“Every crash has a devastating impact on victims and their friends, family, classmates and coworkers. Every crash is 100% preventable,” Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) wrote on their website.
Among its list of solutions, MADD notes that sobriety checks account for a 17% decrease in drunk driving. Many are wondering, therefore, why OHP failed to set them up during Tulsa Tough, an event known for drinking, and has instead launched them during the weekend of National Black Independence.
The checkpoint in Tulsa will begin at 10 p.m. and continue until 3 a.m. Tulsa police officers will also be checking for drunk drivers Saturday night.