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Neenah Looks To 1st Volunteer OWI Checkpoints


NEENAH (WRN) - Wisconsin could have its first voluntary sobriety checkpoints for drivers by the end of the year. Neenah Police want to set up a system in which drivers could voluntarily pull to the right – where they’d be asked a few questions while sensors test their breath for alcohol. Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson says it would send a message that drunk drivers will likely get caught when they’re in Neenah. He expects only 1 in 10 motorists to stop – but he says officers might provide incentives for free desserts for those who do take part. State and federal highway safety officials say they’ve never heard of voluntary sobriety checkpoints. 38 states allow mandatory checkpoints, but they’re against the law in Wisconsin. Neenah’s public safety panel was supposed to consider the voluntary idea Tuesday – but the meeting was postponed because of the snowstorm. Committee member Nick Piergrossi says the checkpoints would be a waste of time and resources if drivers don’t have to stop. But Dwight Lockwood of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls it an innovative concept.