Archive for August 1st, 2008

DUI Logic: Roadblocks Effective Because They’re Ineffective

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Ok, so DUI roadblocks (aka "sobriety checkpoints") are a violation of the 4th Amendment.  But the Supreme Court found a "DUI exception", ruling that although it is a violation of our rights, it is only a "minor intrusion" which is "outweighed" by government’s interest in identifying and arresting dangerous drivers.  Sitz v. Michigan

But since then it has repeatedly been shown that these roadblocks are ineffective at apprehending drunk drivers.  See,  Are DUI Roadblocks Effective?  and Do DUI Roadblocks Work? (Part II) .   So….no more roadblocks, right? 

Wrong.  You simply use DUI logic:  "Well, roadblocks are effective because they’re…well, ineffective.  They don’t catch drunk drivers because there are no drunk drivers…because of the roadblocks.  See?"   

No Arrests Make Stops a Success

DUI checkpoints are working, police say

Lewisberg, PA  July 31  -  Police officers say a checkpoint that catches no drunken drivers should not be considered a failure.  

"It’s a deterrence program," said Douglas Lauver, alcohol enforcement coordinator and co-coordinator of the North Central Highway Safety Network’s Regional DUI Enforcement Group. "Ideally, the goal is not to make any arrests for DUI."

"Officers are talking to drivers," Lauver said, "and putting themselves in contact with people in a professional manner. They explain the reason (for the checkpoint) is to make the highway safe and that they are helping the driver from one place to another with safety."

(Sgt. Scott) Hahn said the regional program receives about $25,000 a year from state and federal funding to hold checkpoints in Union, Snyder and northern Northumberland counties.

  "One of our main goals is public exposure," Lauver said. "You go through a checkpoint, and when you go home, you tell your friends and family. You talk about it and get exposure of it, more awareness. Hopefully, it will make you think twice before getting behind the wheel."

Hahn agreed, saying by making the scene a spectacle with lights, trucks and cars, the checkpoints make an impression on motorists going through them and prompt them to talk about the stops with others…

During a DUI checkpoint, Lauver said an officer will identify himself to the driver and explain what is going on. The officer will check license, registration and insurance, and while doing so, check for signs of impairment.

Score one for Big Brother.