Critics of a new bill proposed by California State Assemblyman Michael Allen claim that the measure will hinder police officers’ ability to reprimand intoxicated drivers and prevent car accidents. The proposed legislation targets California’s DUI traffic stops. It creates certain restrictions intended to ensure that officers at the checkpoints do not unnecessarily punish sober motorists and is raising a good deal of debate in the State Assembly.
The bill pulls much of its language from previous court rulings. Allen claims that his proposal will ensure that the decisions reached in these court rulings are respected by local law enforcement officers. One of the new measures would force officers to only place checkpoints on roads where intoxicated drivers are already a documented problem. The bill also requires officers to publically post the location of a future DUI checkpoint and allow drivers the opportunity to call for assistance if they are found committing a relatively minor infraction such as driving without a license.
DUI traffic stops are created will the primary purpose of pulling drunk drivers off the road. Yet, supporters of Allen’s bill claim that the state currently uses DUI checkpoints as a way to make money by increasing the number of impoundment fees. In his proposal, Allen cites statistics claiming that the number of impoundments linked to DUI checkpoints has skyrocketed over the past several years and are not proportional to the number of DUI arrests.
Assemblyman Allen claims that the state’s current regulations allow DUI checkpoints to stray from their original purpose and victimize drivers who were not driving while intoxicated. However, critics maintain that the DUI checkpoints are vital to protecting the safety of California motorists and should not be straddled with extra restrictions. Where do you fall on this matter?
Source: My San Antonio, “California lawmaker seeks to regulate DUI checkpoints.” Lien Hoang, 22 May 2011