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Aftermath of St. Paddy's Day and the start of March Madness results in eight DUI arrests; hundreds stopped at checkpoint


Over the course of a weekend encompassing one of the country's biggest drinking holidays and the front end of one of the sporting world's most watched competitions I'm sure there were plenty of reasons for folks to reach for a beer, or several.

In anticipation for such a weekend the Lawrence Police Department has recently been stressing the importance of finding a safe (read: sober) method of transportation in these types of situations.

None by Lawrence Police

Sometimes that's a cab, other times it's a designated driver. And I suppose, sometimes folks might just have to walk, so wear comfy shoes.

However, it appears a number of people in Lawrence did not use any of the safer methods this weekend and ignored LPD's legal recommendations.

Between Friday and Saturday at least eight people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, among other things, according to the Douglas County Jail's online booking logs.

The arrests span from 9:34 a.m. on Friday to 4:11 p.m. on Saturday and yielded additional charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, driving while suspended and operating a vehicle without liability insurance.

The arrests took place all over town, including along N. 3rd, E. 25th and Massachusetts streets. And three arrests took place within the 1800 block of Iowa Street, where LPD representatives held their highly-publicized sobriety checkpoint.

Not only did the checkpoint yield 3 arrests, but a total of 435 cars were stopped between 10:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., said LPD Sgt. Amy Rhoads.

The department had been letting folks know about the checkpoint for a few days leading up to the event.

Even with prior warning, Rhoads said the department wants to thank those several hundred motorists who were stopped "for their patience and cooperation during the checkpoint."

None by Lawrence Police

If you were previously unaware, LPD has quite the Twitter account going. They can be found at @LawrenceKS_PD and from there you'll be able to keep up with their current activities, including the aforementioned DUI checkpoints and, their ever-popular Tweetalongs.

In fact, the department hosted yet another Tweetalong on Friday night while the checkpoint was going on. It's a good way for folks to get an idea of what a night is like for a Lawrence Police Officer. I'm sure they'll host another Tweetalong in the near future, but if you want to see what you missed in the past, go ahead and check out #LKPDTweetalong for past... episodes? Is that the word? That's what I'm going with. Past episodes.

None by Lawrence Police

I report on crime and courts for the Journal-World. I can be reached by email at cswanson@ljworld.com, by phone at (785) 832-7284 or on Twitter @Conrad_Swanson.


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