Sobriety Checkpoints: FAIL

The Texas Libertarian Party is opposing State Senate Bill 298, which would impose sobriety checkpoints.  Their research references the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, which includes this quote:
Used to deter drinking and driving, sobriety checkpoints are related more directly to educating the public and encouraging designated drivers, rather than actually apprehending impaired drivers. Typically, sobriety checkpoints do not yield a large volume of DUI arrests. Instead, they offer authorities an educational tool. Education and awareness serve as a significant part of deterrence. Frequent use of checkpoints and aggressive media coverage can create a convincing threat in people's minds that officers will apprehend impaired drivers -- a key to general deterrence.
You didn't actually think that sobriety checkpoints were about catching drunk drivers, did you?  Nope. Yet another instance of security theater.  Not to mention harassing honest citizens and eroding the fourth amendment.

Another revealing quote:
If an agency's goal is to reduce the number of impaired drivers over time, it should use both sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, as well as any other available methods. The bottom line is to do something "do everything" to remove impaired drivers from America's highways.
The bottom line is, apparently, who cares if it works?  Who cares about the constitutional rights of drivers?  Who cares about the inconvenience to honest citizens?  Evidently, not the FBI, and not local police forces either.  The article quotes Mothers Against Drunk Driving 4 times, and National Commission Against Drunk Driving 3 times -- combined, more footnotes to special interest groups than to actual police or law enforcement sources.

This entry was published Mon May 18 02:50:31 CDT 2009 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2009-05-18 02:50:31.0. [Tweet]

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