DUI News – State lawmakers and advocates are at it again, trying to change the law and amend the constitution to legalize random DUI check points here in Washington State. The legalization of DUI check points would allow law enforcement to stop vehicles without legal cause and investigate individuals for possible driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Why try again? Supporters of DUI check points are convinced individuals will think twice about drunk driving knowing they could be stopped at a DUI sobriety check point and thus drunk driving would decrease.
Democratic State Representative Roger Goodman, of Kirkland, appears to be a supporting forefront voice on the controversial issue saying, “We’ve made a lot of progress in enacting DUI laws, but there’s one missing piece and that’s the sobriety checkpoints, which have been shown to reduce deaths by 25 to 30 percent in other states that have them.” According to Goodman, 38 states nationwide and the District of Columbia currently have similar DUI check point laws in place.
Goodman, other lawmakers, MADD, and advocates for victims and survivors of drunk driving accidents have banded together knowing they have an extremely tough uphill battle to try to pass random DUI check points into law. Past attempts to move DUI check points into law have all failed due to Washington State’s constitution having very strict privacy laws. A report produced by the lawmakers and advocates will likely be handed over to state officials on December 4th to continue their push forward for DUI check points.
Those opposing DUI check points are not lying low, they are loudly voicing violations of State and Federal constitutional rights. Many are saying Washington State is unique for having strict privacy laws and it should stay that way. Doug Honig with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of Washington State, shared his stance saying, “In our society, if you’re out and about on the highway and you aren’t doing anything wrong, law enforcement shouldn’t be stopping you.” He continued, “It’s a matter of general freedom in our society.”
This issue of legalizing DUI check points is difficult, on one hand we want to keep all people safe, on the other hand it would cost the right to privacy while driving. When it comes to civil liberties I think it is wise to remember the old saying, “If you give them an inch, they will take a mile.” Meaning, if we give up our right to privacy while driving and allow police officers to investigate anyone for possible DUI what will come next… allowing random searches of vehicles… or allowing law enforcement to enter homes without cause or warrant? The more we allow law enforcement to encroach on our daily lives, the less freedom we truly have.The information above was derived from the article Sobering idea? State floats idea of random DUI check points, written by Lindsay Cohen, Nov. 6th 2013 and can be found on Kiro.com.
Written by S.O