(Page 5 of 9)

Drunk Driving Sobriety Checkpoints

  1. Ongoing DWI Program — Any agency considering safety checkpoints should integrate them with an ongoing, systematic and aggressive enforcement program. The use of checkpoints alone will not sustain the perception of risk so essential to an effective general deterrence program. In fact, if dinking drivers believe that their chances of being caught are only at safety checkpoints, their perception of risk of arrest may he quite low.
  2. Judicial Support — When officials decide that they intend to use this technique, they should involve their prosecuting authority ... in the planning process to determine legally acceptable prosecute. This person can detail the types of evidential information that will be needed to prosecute cases emanating from checkpoint apprehension. The jurisdiction's presiding judge should be informed of hit proposed checkpoints and procedures, all essential step if the judiciary is to accept their use. The judge can provide insight on what activities would be requited to successfully adjudicate such cases. If a judge cannot he persuaded that this technique is acceptable, its implementation will he futile.
  3. Existing Policy Guidelines — Any jurisdiction considering safety checkpoints should prepare mitten policy/guidelines which outline how, roadblocks are to be conducted prior to starting to use them. The courts have been very clear in directing that safety checkpoints be planned in advance. [See State v. Hillesheim, 291 N.W.2d 314, 318 (Iowa 1980).] Failure to do so I has been used as evidence that roadblock techniques were discretionary.