Are DUI Roadblocks Effective?

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on December 17th, 2007

Ok, I’ve posted repeatedly in the past that so-called “sobriety checkpoints” are ineffective and unconstitutional, and are inreasingly used as revenue generators and illegal subterfuges to stop citizens for unrelated matters.  

Do they work?  At the risk of beating a dead horse….


Study Says DUI Checkpoints Ineffective

Phoenix, AZ, Dec. 14  –  Drunken driving checkpoints are costly and do little to prevent DUI-related traffic deaths, according to new data from the American Beverage Institute.

“The states that use roving patrols have an average of 7 percent fewer alcohol-related fatalities than those states that use checkpoints,” said Sarah Longwell of the Institute, which compiled the numbers with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

She said some states “really see the value in increasing roving patrols over sobriety checkpoints, while others defend the practice, saying it’s a deterrent mechanism.”

Mesa Police have used mostly roving patrols in recent years, but checkpoints aren’t out of the picture, said Detective Steve Berry.

“We do use them, we don’t necessarily use them all the time, we just consider them another tool that we have in our bag,” said Berry. “The last one that we did here in Mesa was on Sept. 3 of this year, but prior to that, we had not done one in three to four years.”

Longwell said the checkpoints are costly and ineffective and issued a challenge to police looking for drunken drivers.  


An interesting law enforcement concept:  If they don’t work, don’t use them…..Unless they raise a lot of money for local government from unrelated license, registration and equipment citations, or are used illegally as deterrence or for stopping citizens for unauthorized reasons.

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