Police and politicians want the citizens of Pennsylvania to believe that the various DUI static checkpoints set up around the state are the solution to the DUI issue. The problem is there is not enough effort spent on carefully and scientifically examining the purported results. As a respected Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer and expert, I try to present a balanced view of the issues on this space so you the reader can decide.
One person was charged with driving under the influence during a state police DUI checkpoint late Friday night and early Saturday morning in Union Township, Lebanon County.
Police said 118 drivers were stopped between 11 Friday night and 3 Saturday morning. In addition to the checkpoint at the intersection of state Route 72 and Pine Tree Road, police also used roving patrols on other state roads in the county.
In addition to the DUI arrest, police also said they made two arrests for possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia. Five traffic citations and 26 warnings were also issued.
Here we have a situation where late at night when people who are tired AND WHO ARE TOTALLY INNOCENT OF ANY WRONG DOING are trying to get home just to be unpleasantly surprised that their neighborhood police have blocked traffic and want to stop them, search them and their cars. They are being stopped and searched without any probable cause, a right preserved in The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and Article I Section 8 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution. In some states, courts have ruled DUI checkpoints to be unconstitutional. However, powerful lobbies continue to push politicians to enact laws allowing these checkpoints despite the constitutional issues and high costs associated with them.
So 118 people were stopped, violated and inconvenienced to what ends…to arrest one person for DUI. That is less than 1%. I cannot imagine another thing that government does that has a less than 1% success rate that would continue except for DUI checkpoints. That is horribly inefficient and a grand waste of everyone’s time- but of course the politicians behind this will try to spin this to make themselves look like heroes.