Here Comes Sobriety Check Points Again

Senators hear another plea for sobriety check points.  Last session, after years of trying, supporters of sobriety check points finally got the Senate to go along, only to have the bill stopped in the House.  Dallas County Commissioner Ken Mayfield says they are coming back again because Texas still leads the nation in drunk driving deaths.  “There were 1269 lives which were lost in alcohol related deaths, that’s about 10 percent of what the national average is.”  He says check points can reduce the number of DWI accidents by about 20 percent.  That’s based on decades of data from other states that have had those checkpoints for many years.

  • Sargeant Dread

    Mr Mayfield should point out that Texas also has the population and size to lead the nation in DUI deaths. I do not favor sobriety checkpoints in Texas and I am also a non-drinker.

  • Duckman

    I think people would want those checkpoints only up until they are stuck in traffic at one. I don’t know if there are more drinkers than non-drinkers (myself) but I still don’t want to have to stop to prove I’m driving sober. That’s like being stopped to prove you are a legal citizen. Sounds good on paper, but the logistics nightmare and delays will make it more harm than good.

  • Aaron

    I live in Albuquerque, NM, where checkpoints are common even though they’ve had no perceptible effect other than to create long traffic jams out of downtown from 12-2am. Not everyone downtown has been drinking, and there are thousands of drunks in the rest of town who slip by unnoticed because all the cops are in one 16-block area. Also, they stop the bus service at 10pm and issue only 50 taxi licenses, so what are bar patrons supposed to do other than drive? The money spent on checkpoints would be much better spent on improved public transportation to discourage DUI in the first place.

  • Aaron

    I live in Albuquerque, NM…Checkpoints are common here, but their only perceptible effect is to create long traffic jams out of downtown from 12-2am. Many people downtown actually haven’t drank too much, and drunks slip by in the rest of town because the cops’ attention is elsewhere. At the same time, the buses stop running by 10pm, and there are less than 100 cabs for a city of 500,000. Two ideas: 1) Spend the checkpoint money on better public transportation at night so it’s easier to prevent DUI in the first place; and 2) Encourage bars to breath test anyone who has been drinking and not let them leave in any vehicle but a taxicab until they’re under .08.

  • bdk

    Checkpoints are illegal and violate the 4th amendment. The amendment specifically requires search and arrest warrants be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

    What that means is that the police assume that because you are out driving on the street where the checkpoint is set up, you are probably drunk. If you do not drink then you have to sit in line, many times for up to an hour and be searched.

  • calcheckpoint

    We should never drink and drive, but I still like to know where checkpoints
    will be in Orange County, San Diego, and LA. I may use calcheckpoint
    ( to find out where they are.

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