2000 Dakota Day weekend 'quiet' according to police by M. Jill Karolevitz Although the Vermillion Police Department and the South Dakota Highway Patrol made several alcohol-related arrests during Dakota Day weekend, VPD Chief Bruce Plate called this year�s annual USD homecoming event �quiet� compared to other years.
�This was the quietest Dakota Days I�ve seen in 25 years,� Plate said. �I can�t explain why. Maybe it�s the rapport that we�ve established over the years since we started doing foot patrol downtown. And USD has been working hard to curb alcohol problems. Maybe people are being more careful because of the new underage drinking laws. It�s hard to say.�
The VPD made seven underage consumption arrests (between the ages of 18 and 20), four disorderly conduct arrests and three DWI arrests. There was one case of vandalism and five juveniles were also arrested for underage consumption.
Troopers of the South Dakota Highway Patrol held a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday morning, Oct. 14 at Cherry Street and Rose from 1 to 3 a.m. Of approximately 200 drivers checked, 10 were arrested for DWI, one was arrested for driving with a revoked license, one was arrested for false impersonation and 21 underage consumption arrests were made.
On Saturday evening, between 8 and 10 p.m., the sobriety checkpoint was set up at the intersection of Cherry Street and Highway 19. Three underage consumption arrests were made and one individual was cited for open container.
A special Highway Patrol vehicle was used at the checkpoint. The vehicle is a step van that has an area to hold prisoners and an area for a medical technician to draw blood samples.
A sobriety checkpoint is a minimally intrusive type of check, according to law enforcement officials. A vehicle that comes into the checkpoint is stopped and the driver is asked if they have been drinking any alcohol. If they say they have not been drinking and there is no evidence that they have been drinking (that is, odor of an alcoholic beverage), then they are released. If they say they have been drinking or it smells as though they have been drinking, they are checked more thoroughly.