Police officers use many different methods to crack down on drunk drivers. While many are familiar with DUI checkpoints, not too many people might know about saturation patrols. Understanding these patrols and how they work can help you know what to do should you find yourself in one…
Saturation Patrols: What Are They?
Saturation patrols are when a larger-than-usual amount of officers are sent to patrol an area. These targeted areas tend to usually be busy roads or intersections. Additionally, these patrols tend to pick specific times and days, like at night or on weekends.
The goal of these patrols is to detect and arrest impaired drivers. Generally, officers will look for any obvious driving behavior changes and violations associated with a DUI. For example, they may look for drivers who are speeding, swerving between lanes, or following other drivers too closely.
There are a few reasons why police might use saturation patrols over other methods. For starters, these patrols are harder to avoid than checkpoints. Drivers who are aware of common checkpoint locations can go around them, whereas they can’t do that with a patrol. Patrols also need less officers than a checkpoint, and can be a bit more easier to manage too.
These patrols also tend to be very effective. For example, a patrol can net over 100 drivers on a good night! Plus, these patrols won’t just get drivers who are driving drunk. They can also get drivers who might be speeding or driving without a license too.
What should you do?
You’ll probably notice that you’re in a saturated area by the increased police presence. For many people, seeing so many cops in one spot can make them a bit nervous. Even if they haven’t done anything wrong, they might still worry about what they should be doing.
However, the best thing is to treat saturation patrols like any other time you see the police while driving. Keep your cool, watch your speed, and you shouldn’t have any issues. Even if you do get pulled over, it’s all about staying calm and following the officer’s instructions. Remember: their main goal is to get the drivers who pose a risk, not the ones who are just trying to get home.