Euless Rep. Prepares Sobriety Checkpoint Bill

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

EULESS (CBSDFW.COM) – Justin resident Doyce Grant just can’t understand why Texas is one of 12 states that doesn’t allow for police to set up sobriety checkpoints.

“We’re so afraid to profile somebody that we don’t think about 15,000 or the 17,000 people a year who are killed by drunk drivers,” Grant said.

The 71-year-old lost his daughter to a drunken driver. He strongly supports a bill that would allow for checkpoints, like the one recently filed by State Representative Todd Smith (R-Euless).

“If I could guarantee that I could save your wife’s life, or your mother’s life, or your life by putting in these checkpoints, would you vote for it then?” Grant asked. “I can’t guarantee it, but I guarantee you’d have a better chance of making it.

House Bill 439 would allow law enforcement agencies in Texas to set up sobriety checkpoints in counties with populations greater than 250,000. This is the fifth time Smith has introduced such a bill. He believes his best chance to pass it will come in Jan. when the Legislature reconvenes.

“This is about ensuring that drivers are sober when they are driving on our streets,” Smith said.

Smith has tweaked the bill to give it better odds of passing. One change prohibits an officer from asking for a driver’s license or proof of insurance unless there is probable cause that the driver is breaking the law.

Another change mandates that checkpoints can only be set up in locations with a history of repeated alcohol-related driving offenses. Smith said drivers are less likely to drink if they know a possible checkpoint awaits.

“These things work not by arresting more drunk drivers, which is a surprise to many people,” Smith said. “Instead, (checkpoints) prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place.”

Smith said the changes to his bill may ease concerns of profiling, since it also states that checkpoints must be set up in areas without regard to ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

“Somewhere, sometime they’re going to come to their senses and not worry about profiling,” Grant said. “They’re going to worry about the people who don’t have any say in this and that’s the ones who get killed.”

HB439 is also receiving strong support from Irving-based Mothers Against Drunk Driving.


One Comment

  1. averagedrinkstop says:

    the bill is stupid, cop put up the checkpoint at time people are dinning out. but do not up checkpoint the really drunk. which is 10pm-12pm. This time is when happy hour is over or the time bar is close. i been driving 114,183,121 and 820 for 4 yrs now , I see alot of drunk at 10pm-1AM . More then cop i see at this time.

  2. averagedrinkstop says:

    I just like speed trap. only stop the average drive. more people get kill 10pm-1am . Where is the cop then?? And do not forget stop light camera too.

  3. John says:

    Checkpoints for this is unconstitutional. By stopping people without probable cause is assuming guilt and is basically making the case that the person has to prove their innocence rather than the other way around.

  4. carrbow says:

    We are already living in a police state,why give up even more rigfhts.

  5. Police State says:

    Another feel good law that will not work…wtih texting, tweeting and other technology, the word witll get out, be posted on GPS and people will just avoid and take the backroads.

  6. teaparty ted says:

    I think that either the reporter on this story must have gotten the political affiliation wrong, or Mr. Smith forgot that the ‘R’ by his name stands for Republican. Usually this type of legislation is proposed by the leftist liberal Democrats, that are control freeks and want total control of your life, and a Police State!

  7. Merle says:

    Great chance to ruin the life of anyone having a glass or two of wine for dinner, especially with the ridiculously low .08 limit.

  8. boyd lively says:

    more jobs for lawyers to take away your rights. when are people going to wake up

  9. Ana says:

    Doesn’t anyone care about making the roads safer? Speaking of rights, don’t I have the right to not be hit by a drunk driver if that can be prevented? Get real! You can havea drink or two with dinner, just be responsible about it.

  10. Gary Pirtle says:

    Don’t agree Ana. This type of legislation targets the resposible drinker also. Two alcoholic drinks of any kind will put most people over the limit. The officers at the checkpoints will not care if you tell them you feel fine to drive and are being careful. There has to be a better way so you don’t persecute the responsible people. I wish I could think of a way to get the ‘real’ drunks off the road.

  11. Mad Mark says:

    What a propaganda piece this article is! Pravda would be proud.

    Yes, by all means bow down to the Mad Mothers and turn Texas into a police state where you can be stopped without probable cause. Hell, let’s do that for any reason the do-gooders want.

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