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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 34512
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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Last night I ended up in a line of car whose drivers were being

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Last night I ended up in a line of car whose drivers were being checked for alcohol.
This procedure seems to violate 1st Amendment rights?
I assume they 'catch" a lot of drivers whose breath is over .08 but have there been any studies that this tyranny decreases drunk driver accidents.
I believe it is a "fund raiser" for the local police.
Thanks for the chance to assist on this matter. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience in criminal law.

Good question. This is an example of a "search". And it is a constitutional issue. However, by a 6-3 decision in the case of Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz (1990), the United States Supreme Court found properly conducted sobriety checkpoints to be constitutional.

In its decision, the court held that such checkpoints infringed on a constitutional right. However, Chief Justice Rehnquist argued the state interest in reducing drunk driving outweighed this minor infringement.

This is an example of when if a state can show a compelling interest, they can impinge on the rights of individuals.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Blowing in the wind............but have there been any studies that such check point decrease drunk driving.


I can't imagine they do



Why not set up check points to pat down people to see if they a carrying concealed weapon?

Might as we check peoples' homes......who knows they may be growing pot. Just a "minor inconvenience"

Thanks for your response.


What would happen to a driver who refused to participate?

Sir I do not know if there have been any studies to show effectiveness. But I do know the Supreme Court has ruled so unless Congress acts or the Supreme Court takes another case to overrule itself, that is the law (that checkpoints can be used to detect drunk drivers)

If someone refused to participate? The laws of that state would kick in. Most all states have a law that requires loss of license for failure to take the test. This is called "implied consent". So the driver could refuse to participate, and they would then loose their license for the prescribed period of time.

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