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Wilmington Police using different technique to keep streets safe this holiday season

READ MORE: Wilmington Police keeping streets safe this holiday season
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With the holidays quickly approaching and drivers taking to the roads, Wilmington Police are trying to keep the streets safe by stopping impaired drivers. But they are using techniques other than traditional check points. At first glance it looks like a meeting for a street racing group. But the gathering is actually the beginning of what local law enforcement calls a saturation Patrol. “We essentially congregate in known DWI routes that DWI offenders typically take; whether or not they're going to or from downtown,” said Corporal Joseph Fitzgerald of the Wilmington Police Department. A saturation patrol is different from a checkpoint, because law enforcement doesn't stop every car or slow regular traffic. Corporal Fitzgerald said saturation points ultimately work better. “They are very effective, they are highly visible, and hopefully accomplish the same goals without having the legal loop holes that you might run into with a DWI checkpoint,” he said. Fitzgerald said he finds most DWI violations when impaired drivers speed past him on the road. But it is not always because the driver had too much to drink. “Driving while impaired does not only apply to any alcohol. It applies to any kind of impairing substance whether it's legal, prescribed, or even illegal,” added Fitzgerald. He said police step up enforcement around the holidays because people tend to drive impaired more often traveling to and from their celebrations. If you do get a ticket, the penalty could mean fewer gifts, not just this holiday, but future one's as well. “In addition to your court penalties, your insurance typically goes up 375% if you're convicted of impaired driving,” stated Fitzgerald. But that's nothing compared to the consequences that could come with an accident if your driving while impaired. “There are just too many negative outcomes that can occur from that. Whether you're arrested, you’re involved in a crash and hurt someone or even kill someone. You're much better in spending $20 and taking a cab,” he said. Corporal Fitzgerald said in the past the police department has seen fatal accidents related to impaired driving around the holidays. He's hoping that, with increased saturation patrols like Sunday morning, they can prevent that from happening this year. Sunday’s patrol resulted in five DWI arrests, a possession of marijuana charge, several traffic citations and warnings. Wilmington Police will continue patrols through the holidays.

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Traffic

End the ridiculous traffic patrols and reclaim Wilmington from the criminals. Or just take some time off. I guess by "legal loop holes that you might run into with a DWI checkpoint," You mean they are un-Constitutional. The streets aren't safe because they are poorly planned, poorly paved, poorly lit, poorly marked and have no shoulders (emergency lanes. Here's a tip... if you're doing ten under the posted speed and your in the fast lane, your "impaired" even if you haven't been drinking or drugging. Thus, YOU create the "Wilmington weave" where normal people have to avoid you like the impediment you are. Now you know!

Driver's Ed. 101

Well, Mr. John Henry, let's discuss the fundamentals we all should have learned in our driver's education courses. The "posted speed" you're referring to is actually called the SPEED LIMIT, or in other words, 'how fast you may go up to a certain point.' Let's say the "posted speed" is 45mph, and you are going 46mph...well, you're breaking the law. Now, while it may be ANNOYING to have to be behind someone driving 10mph below the speed limit in the "fast lane", it is still your responsibility as a licensed driver to maneuver your car around this driver safely. Same reason you can't get upset when there's an animal in the road, you must safely avoid that "impediment" as well. If you would rather break the law and exceed the speed limit and drive recklessly to avoid such "impediments", creating this "Wilmington weave", then YOU yourself are responsible for creating a traffic hazard, not the "impediment".

It's called "Getting Out and

It's called "Getting Out and Patrolling". Drive down College Rd./Oleander/Market St. during rush hour and find a cop :-( Have been doing that for a few days this week and once in a while, in a while you'll see one. Most of the time you just see speeders and red light runners and lane swerving going on with the drunks. Aren't we so lucky? Worse Police Dept. I've ever seen for traffic control! It's always news stories during holiday seasons and what the Police are going to do. Operation this/Operation that...but there are many more days in the year that need the same attention as the holidays. You should be able to drive down any of these streets I've mentioned during the afternoon and evening and see someone pulled for a traffic violation...good luck!

I drive down Market to

I drive down Market to College to get to and from work every day....there hasn't been a day go by that I haven't seen several police officers or deputies patroling the area.