WESTMINSTER -- Hundreds of county residents arriving home from Baltimore and points south were greeted by bright lights, DTC 16 state troopers and the sheriff's K-9 unit as they rolled into Westminster over the weekend.
In the second county sobriety checkpoint of the year, the officers spoke with 631 drivers, pulled 19 cars over for tests and arrested seven motorists between 11:40 p.m. Saturday and 2:05 Sunday morning.
Representatives from the county chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and students in the "Operation Night Ride" program for observing drunken-driving arrests were also involved at the checkpoint on Leidy Road and Md. 140.
"Pretty much A to Z, we're very happy with the result," said 1st Sgt. Stephen C. Reynolds, a state police spokesman.
"We haven't made that many arrests at a checkpoint in the two years we've been doing them," the sergeant said.
Drivers were fairly supportive of the operation and there was no disorderly conduct from those stopped or arrested, Sergeant Reynolds said.
"We got some very positive feedback from most of the motorists," he said.
"They feel comfortable knowing our troopers are out on these checkpoint operations.
"One woman I stopped said we should be out there every week."
Police try to have at least one sobriety checkpoint each year, adding more as funding allows, Sergeant Reynolds said.
Locations for the checkpoints are chosen by the state field operations office based on the frequency of alcohol-related crashes in that area, safety and visibility.
"It takes a lot of manpower," he said, adding that each checkpoint requires 12 to 15 officers.
"You need a whole special team of people, and then there's overtime and other compensation."
This checkpoint was paid for with a special county grant to Junction, a non-profit drug-rehabilitation agency, for enforcing drunken-driving laws.