Some St. Louis-area police and elected officials are questioning the effectiveness and propriety of federal roadside impaired driving checkpoints at which motorists are asked to voluntarily submit blood and saliva samples in exchange for cash, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it conducted the tests as part of a nationwide survey designed to reduce drunken and drugged driving.
St. Charles County Sheriff Tom Neer said his department had been “duped” into cooperating with a government subcontractor who paid six of his off-duty, uniformed officers to help at three checkpoints conducted Friday morning, Friday night and Saturday night. At the checkpoints, uniformed deputies in marked cars randomly flagged down motorists and directed them where to pull over. A government subcontractor then asked drivers if they wanted to participate in the survey. Those who declined were free to go on their way. While no action was taken against motorists who refused to stop, Neer acknowledged that most motorists would not have thought they had any choice but to pull over when flagged down by one of his uniformed deputies. “We will not cooperate with one of these federal checkpoints again,”