I have been a vocal supporter of tougher DUI laws my entire career.
After several recent tragic drunk-driving incidents in our region the last several months, the legislature and governor pledged to crack down even more on drunk driving in this last legislative session. One of the anti-DUI tools that was proposed was setting up sobriety checkpoints – where the police can randomly stop vehicles in high-DUI areas to smell for alcohol in a vehicle of from a driver.
MADD says this is proven to be one of the most effective ways to battle drunk driving. So a lot of people were surprised when I came out opposed to these checkpoints.
The reason for my opposition is that it gives the police the power to stop all vehicles – even if the driver is breaking no laws and is driving just fine. I respect the police, but I do not believe we should give away our right to freely travel about without having the government stopping us without cause.
For those who doubt my position on this, take a look at what happened to a 21-year-old at a DUI checkpoint in Tennessee on the 4th of July. Sobriety checkpoints may reduce DUI’s, but, in my view, the end does not justify the means if it leads to encounters like the one in the video above.