Alright Columbus, here’s a heads up. Be sure to drink responsibly. According to Fox 28, The Columbus Division of Police will conduct a sobriety checkpoint on Gender Road at Winchester Lakes Boulevard Friday evening.
The diversion area for the checkpoint will be located at 5612 Gender Road.
“This location was specifically selected in honor of fallen Columbus Police Officer Melissa Foster, who was killed in the line-of-duty by an impaired driver,” said Columbus Police Traffic Bureau Sergeant Michael Smith.
Foster was the 51st Columbus Police officer killed in the line-of-duty on December 4, 2004, when her cruiser was struck by an oncoming motorist as she was driving on Gender Road.
“This checkpoint is located near a roadside memorial to Officer Foster, and within days of what would have been her 46th birthday.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Foster was one of the 492 fatalities reported statewide that year as an alcohol-related traffic crash. Crash statistics collected since 2010 suggest impaired driving is still occurring in the area.
Four intersections along a 4-mile portion of Gender Road have an impaired driver crash rate between two and four percent, which is higher than most other intersections throughout the city.
“These are preventable deaths. Some drivers simply need to make better decisions before drinking and driving,” Smith added.
Driving while impaired by drugs other than, or in combination with, alcohol is also a serious traffic risk. Drug Recognition Expert officers, who are specifically trained to detect and process those impaired drivers, will be assigned to this checkpoint.
“Sobriety checkpoints serve as continual reminders to drink responsibly,” Smith said.
Those who will consume alcohol this weekend are reminded to plan for a designated driver and make sure others do not drive while impaired. The checkpoint is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Friday, May 22 and will continue until approximately 3 a.m. on Saturday, May 23.