Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Stop the Checkpoints

If you were me, you would already be well aware that there's nothing quite as aggravating as a DWI checkpoint. But since you're not, a friend of the FunkyPundit, Sarah Longwell, breaks it down for you in the pages today's New York Sun:

Federal funding policy requires roadblocks to be "highly publicized." So authorities regularly publish roadblock times and locations in advance, allowing veteran drunk drivers simply to drive around them. The word also gets passed around via the word-of-mouth and cell phone networks, which are similar to truck drivers who tell their friends about speed traps.

Testimony from an official at Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation, Louis Rader, demonstrated that roving patrols, where cops swarm the roads looking for erratic drivers, are a superior tactic for catching drunk drivers. Mr. Rader testified that only 0.7% of all drivers stopped at DUI checkpoints are charged, while 7.7% of suspicion-based stops made by roving patrols yield charges. That's 10 times more arrests per car stopped.

In the war against drunk driving, setting up roadblocks is like expecting the enemy to walk into your camp and surrender. It would be laughable if it weren't so tragic.

To which a pundit of the funkiest variety could only add: Word.

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