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State Lawmakers Consider Bill Allowing Sobriety Checkpoints

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A woman walks the white line during a field sobriety test. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A woman walks the white line during a field sobriety test. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/KRLD) – Whether you drink alcohol or not, you could soon find yourself stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. The Texas legislature is once again considering a bill to make them legal in the state.

Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd says this isn’t the first time Austin lawmakers have considered sobriety checkpoints. “The last legislative session it was introduced,” he said. “The [current] bill itself got further than it ever had before.”

Boyd is one of many North Texas lawmen that support the checkpoints. More than 30 other U.S. states already permit the random roadblocks where police look for drunk drivers.

Tuesday, a key committee heard from a number of Texas police commanders including Arlington Deputy Police Chief Lauretta Hill, who supports the bill. “This bill strikes that balance between the public safety and the well-being of individual liberties,” she told the committee.

All of the law enforcement officials who testified agreed that sobriety checkpoints are a means of defending sober drivers from the drunks.

Opponents of the bill say the checkpoints are an invasion of privacy for law-abiding Texas drivers. Other organizations, including the American Beverage Institute, are also against the legislation saying the checkpoints are expensive, ineffective and catch few if any drunk drivers while imposing a high cost to taxpayers.

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