Tuesday, 06 April 2010 05:30

The Legal Implications of Sobriety Checkpoints

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Sobriety checkpoints have long been used as a deterrent to drunk driving. Although these checkpoints plus other efforts by law enforcement have shown to make a difference in combating this issue, the fact of the matter is, these efforts are not enough.

What Are Sobriety Checkpoints?

Sobriety checkpoints are places where police officers conduct traffic stops to make sure people are not drinking and driving. It's a system put in place whereby officers may check every other driver and assess their level of sobriety. The goal of these checkpoints is to increase the perceptions of drivers' risk of being arrested. If drivers know that there is a possibility of them being stopped, perhaps this will deter them from getting behind the wheel. Checkpoints are typically set up late at night or on weekends. These are the times when impaired drinking often occurs.

Legal Implications of Checkpoints

Many people argue the fact that sobriety checkpoints are a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution while others think that these checkpoints are effective and necessary, therefore they should be made an exception to the law. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it permissible to have checkpoints, but there are still several states that do not allow them because these roadblocks violate their state constitutions.

Traffic roadblocks are cumbersome, but many view them as necessary to promote safety on our roadways. Civil libertarians think that the government is abusing their power. It's a very touchy subject, but I think it's better to find a way to stop drunk people from getting in their cars in the first place.

Maria Palma is a freelance writer who wants to people find experienced DUI lawyers in San Diego. Make sure to get counseling for your DUI in San Diego. Read the San Diego DUI Blog.

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