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Do DUI Roadblocks Work? (Part II)

Do DUI Roadblocks Work? (Part II)

Information courtesy of Lawrence Taylor - DUIblog

As I discussed in yesterday's post, the fatalities statistics used by MADD and government agencies to justify DUI checkpoints are flawed. In fact, the statistics can be viewed as indicating quite the opposite.

Well, all right, so checkpoints may not reduce fatalities -- but, according to MADD, they certainly result in more DUI arrests.

Wrong again. The simple fact is that checkpoints are largely wastes of police resources and taxpayer money -- not to mention unjustified invasions of privacy. In fact, in the United States Supreme Court decision (Michigan v. Sitz) upholding their constitutionality, a dissenting justice pointed out the "the findings of the trial court, based on an extensive record and affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, indicate that the net effect of sobriety checkpoints on traffic safety is infinitesimal and possibly negative". (Emphasis added) This is confirmed by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies, which conclude that "the number of DWI arrests made by the roving patrol program was nearly three times the average number of DWI arrests made by the checkpoint programs".

Then why do we have DUI roadblocks? Consider a local news story from last week:

PENNDOT GRANTS TOTALLING $1 MILLION FUND SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS STATEWIDE

....Chester County officials said recent recommendations from the national headquarters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving have been implemented by area police departments for years. Among the recommendations are an increased focus on prevention tactics such as sobriety checkpoints.

"We work with MADD and will continue to work with them to reduce the incidents of drunken driving in Pennsylvania," (DOT spokesperson Jenny) Robinson said....

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