Drunk driving checkpoint viability questioned

Most people in South Carolina have seen or heard reports of checkpoints set up by police officers to try and catch alleged drunk drivers. These checkpoints are often set up at or near key holidays like New Year's Eve or Fourth of July. They may also be established at random times. This particular method of attempting to target people for specific violations has been the subject of some debate recently in neighboring North Carolina.

At one particular driving while intoxicated checkpoint in the middle of August, a total of 15 officers staffed the area over a span of five hours. The effort resulted in one drunk driving arrest. Another 42 drivers were cited or arrested for a variety of offenses ranging from expired vehicle license tags to outstanding warrants for their arrest.

In the process of hosting checkpoints like these, other motorists face long delays due to the traffic jams that these events cause. Some people also point to the fact that officers are pulled away from other duties that may require their time and attention. All in all, the value of targeting suspected drunk drivers is something that not everyone feels is real. Whether or not these events will continue in North Carolina or other states to the extent that they have been remains to be seen.

Any driver who has been charged with a drunk driving offense in South Carolina, whether at a checkpoint or elsewhere, might find talking to an attorney a good way of understanding their defense options.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Are DWI checkpoints effective? Not everyone agrees they're worth it," Dave Vieser, October 13, 2017

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