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Ban on state funding of sobriety checkpoints being considered in Missouri

There are a variety of things a person could end up facing drunk driving charges in relation to. This includes interactions they had with police at a sobriety checkpoint. Such checkpoints are when police set up a roadblock on a given stretch of road to check drivers that are going through that stretch for signs of drunk driving.

Now, in some states, such checkpoints are not permitted. Missouri is not one of those states. So, such checkpoints are something drivers can encounter when driving along the state’s roads. How a driver acts at such a checkpoint can have significant ramifications.

Another thing that can be very impactful at such checkpoints is how police act. While sobriety checkpoints are permitted in the state, police don’t have free rein to do whatever they want at such checkpoints. There are various rules and standards they are to comply with in their actions. Whether police followed these rules can have significant impacts on evidence issues in DUI cases coming out of a checkpoint. So, when a person is facing drunk driving charges as a result of things that happened at a Missouri sobriety checkpoint, how police at the checkpoint acted can be an important detail to pin down.

Sobriety checkpoints have drawn a fair amount of debate here in Missouri. Some argue that they help police with keeping the state’s roads safe. Others argue that they aren’t that effective of a safety tool or that they put an unreasonable burden on drivers.

In the midst of this debate, a proposal has been brought here in Missouri touching on checkpoints. The proposal wouldn’t ban sobriety checkpoints in Missouri, but could make them less common. It would ban state funding for such checkpoints. The proposal is part of a budget bill which the state’s house recently passed.

One wonders what will happen with this proposal and what impacts it will have on the future of sobriety checkpoints in Missouri.

Sources: Insurance Journal, “State May Drop Funding for Sobriety Checkpoints in Missouri,” Katie Kull, April 10, 2017

Governors Highway Safety Association, “Sobriety Checkpoints,” Accessed April 12, 2017

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