As I’ve argued repeatedly in the past, drunk driving roadblocks (MADD and the police prefer the less ominous phrase "sobriety checkpoints") are overly intrusive and ineffective compared to police patrols. See, for example, Do DUI Roadblocks Work? and Do DUI Roadblocks Work? (Part II). And — despite a controversial 5-4 Supreme Court decision — they are unconstitutional. See Are Roadblocks Constitutional?
Their only real benefit is raising large amounts of cash for local municipalities from all the tickets and towed cars from unrelated license, registration and equipment violations (for which roadblocks would be illegal). See, for example, DUI Roadblocks for Fun and Profit and The New "Highway Robbery": Money-Making DUI Roadblocks Growing.
Recently, however, there appears to be the beginnings of a backlash from a few legislators unafraid of MADD’s political influence.
R.I. Lawmaker: Outlaw DUI Checkpoints
Providence, RI. Apr 9 – A Rhode Island state lawmaker says drunk-driving checkpoints are unfair and should be banned.
Rep. Charlene Lima, a Cranston Democrat, has introduced a bill in the General Assembly to prohibit police from conducting traffic checkpoints to identify drunk drivers. A legislative panel reviewed the legislation Wednesday.
Lima says she supports laws against drunk driving, but that checkpoints "smack of a police state." She said there’s no reason sober drivers should have to prove to police that they’re not driving drunk.
A voice in the wilderness….