Checkpoints are a common way that law enforcement officials try to deter and nab impaired drivers. Despite the fact that checkpoints have been in use for time, they have been a source of controversy in recent years, leading some to even call for them to no longer be used as part of DUI enforcement efforts. We’ll explain why, as well as present some additional interesting facts about sobriety checkpoints, below.
Here’s What You Should Know about DUI Checkpoints
Checkpoints have to be set up & operated according to some very specific rules – In order for DUI checkpoints to be legal (and the citations and arrests that stem from them to hold up later), these checkpoints have to be conducted in a very specific manner. Namely, they have to be set up at a specific location for a discrete period of time, and the methods that officers use to stop cars/talk to motorists have to be consistent and nondiscriminatory.
If officers fail to abide by these standards by, for instance, using a discriminatory method for stopping cars, any arrests or cases arising from the checkpoint can be dismissed in the future.
- Checkpoints have been found to be less effective than other DUI enforcement efforts – In fact, checkpoints have been becoming progressively less effective than enforcement efforts like roving patrols because motorists can easily warn friends about where checkpoints are set up. Additionally, there are apps that drivers can use to find out about the locations of checkpoints. This ends up meaning that it can be easy for motorists who may be impaired to avoid checkpoint locations, some critics say.
Looking at arrest data from checkpoints across the nation can, perhaps, elucidate how checkpoints are failing to nab as many allegedly impaired drivers as other enforcement efforts. In particular, research has indicated that, on average, checkpoints only result in handfuls of DUI arrests (at most).
- Checkpoints have significant operating costs – While the average roving patrol costs about a few hundred dollars to operate for an evening, one DUI checkpoint for a single evening can cost between $8,000 and $10,000 to operate. Given that checkpoints only tend to result in minimal DUI arrests, some are now seriously questioning whether they are actually worth their significant costs.
Have any of these facts about sobriety checkpoints changed your opinions about them? Tell us what you think on Facebook & Google+.
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For the strongest defense against DUI charges in Illinois or Missouri, contact a St Louis DUI lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law. We have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting.
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