Illinois State Police Write 120 Tickets in One Day In East St. Louis

click to enlarge Illinois State Police Write 120 Tickets in One Day In East St. Louis
The police also wrote 111 tickets in Alton.

The jaw-dropping number of traffic citations comes courtesy of another one of the Illinois State Police's patented "roadside safety checks" at the freeway off-ramp at Broadway and Fourth Street in East Boogie.

The BND has the impressive breakdown on the ticket stats.

"One person was arrested for driving under the influence and 19 were arrested on outstanding warrants. Tickets were also issued to 18 people for having open alcohol in the car and 11 for failing to buckle up."

The last time the ISP conducted a "roadside safety check" it followed a crackdown on East St. Louis nightclubs by several Metro East law enforcement agencies. That issue and incident were both covered by RFT in our May 19 feature story, "Last Call."

"On the morning of Sunday, April 12, state and federal agencies joined forces to conduct a "roadside safety check" of all vehicles entering downtown East St. Louis via eastbound Interstate 64 between midnight and 4 a.m. More than 50 agents, officers and deputies from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Illinois State Patrol and the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department were present.

The squad arrested 22 people on outstanding warrants, 7 for driving under the influence, and 4 for misdemeanor drug possession (3 for marijuana and 1 for crack cocaine). Another 49 were cited for having an open alcohol container in a vehicle, and 39 were caught driving with suspended or revoked licenses. Officers seized two illegal firearms -- an assault rifle and an unregistered pistol."

The comments thread on the BND's story about the most recent safety check is getting pretty heated. The readers are debating whether or not an unprovoked traffic stop is a good thing (i.e. if you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about) or a violation of civil rights and a ploy to collect revenue for the state.

Here are some of the highlights (and it's worth pointing out that the level of discourse here roughly 120 times more civil than the hate speech usually found over at that other local daily newspaper):

No matter what your opinion, however, if you're driving to the east side later this month you'd better keep it legal. The local state patrol commander says more roadside checks are scheduled throughout July. 
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