Ahead of Spring, Delaware Police Step Up DUI Checkpoints Across the State

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    Across Delaware, state officials, judges, and law enforcement agencies are cracking down on drunk driving offenders. In Dover this March, the Delaware Supreme Court denied Dale A. Guilfoil’s request to overturn his DUI conviction and prison sentence.

    In July 2014, police arrested Guilfoil, of Hartley, for his seventh DUI charge, and in June 2015 the seven-time offender was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Although multiple DUI offenders are often charged as felonies, 15 years is a long prison sentence for a DUI case in which no one was injured.

    Guilfoil’s defense team argued that his truck was inoperable at the time of the arrest and that a roadside sobriety test administered by police should be inadmissible as evidence. The Supreme Court rejected those arguments, and others, calling the evidence “overwhelming.” Now, the serial drunk driver is facing a long stretch behind bars.

    Every day, as many as 300,000 people drive drunk, but only about 4,000 will actually be arrested. Each year, drunk and drugged drivers cause nearly $200 billion in damages to the U.S. economy, while injuring and killing many innocent victims.

    That’s why Delaware police have been stepping up efforts to enforce state drunk driving laws, particularly during problem holidays like St. Patrick’s Day.

    During celebrations this weekend, Delaware police set up a DUI check point on Del. 141 northbound at I-95. The Checkpoint Strikeforce stopped 1,148 vehicles that night, flagged 28 drivers for investigation, and ultimately arrested 12 drivers. One of those drivers had already been arrested three times for DUI offenses.

    The Checkpoint Strikeforce is part of a statewide initiative to stop drunk drivers before they hurt or kill anyone.

    Michael J. Capriglione, commander of Checkpoint Strikeforce and chief of the Newport Police Department, said Delaware residents should expect these DUI checkpoints to become more common as the weather starts to warm.