For the first time ever, the Kansas City Police Department has arrested more than 1,000 people for drinking and driving in a single fiscal grant year. That means that more area residents than ever before are facing DUI charges at the same time.
It isn’t clear if the spike in arrests means more people in Kansas City are driving under the influence, or if KCPD is focusing more on traffic enforcement. The department did tell KCTV-TV that most of their arrests were through the use of saturation patrols.
What is a saturation patrol?
For those who have not heard of this police technique, a saturation patrol is a large group of officers patrolling a specific part of town for a set period of time. Also known as a dedicated DUI patrol, blanket patrol or “wolf pack” patrol, this technique requires officers to focus on looking for drivers with signs of probable cause for drinking and driving. They perform the standard DUI police stop and arrest as many motorists as they can. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes saturation patrols are more effective than stationary drunk driving checkpoints, require less manpower and are relatively easy to run.
However, increasing patrols in a section of the city does not reduce the chances of a police officer making a mistake. Arguably, the push to make as many arrests as possible could cause an officer to rush through a traffic stop or convince themselves that there was probable cause to pull someone over when there was not.
Your rights matter
Illegal procedure by the police is never acceptable, but as an individual, there may not be anything you can do to protect your rights in the street. Usually, the time for you to object to such violations is in court. With some exceptions, Missouri law requires any evidence seized by police due to improper actions like lacking probable cause to be tossed out.