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Should Washington State Adopt Sobriety Checkpoints?

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Oct 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

Just weeks after a new DUI law went into effect, Washington lawmakers are already pushing for tougher drunk driving laws.

Representative Roger Goodman, one of the primary backers of the new DUI law passed this year, reportedly stated that he hoped to have another DUI bill ready for the upcoming legislative session, reports Q13 Fox. This time the focus may be on roadside sobriety checkpoints.

Currently, Washington has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation. However, the state has not adopted one of the most common (and effective) ways to combat drunk driving -- sobriety checkpoints. These checkpoints are allowed in most states and generally consist of authorities setting up roadblocks in known trouble spots to randomly check for drunk drivers.

Research has shown that sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving by 15 to 30 percent. And checkpoints seem like a relatively easy measure for authorities to adopt in their effort to curb drunk driving. So why hasn't the state embraced checkpoints?

There are several arguments against DUI checkpoints. The primary argument against them is that they violate constitutional privacy rights. With a checkpoint, authorities will be stopping far more sober drivers who have done nothing wrong, than they will be stopping drunk drivers. Lawmakers and their constituents are generally against unnecessary intrusion of their individual rights and freedoms. Other arguments against checkpoints may be that they can lead to profiling and discrimination. Until a law is passed, drivers should remember that DUI checkpoints are illegal in Washington.

Washington DUI laws are in a state of flux. If you have been charged with a crime and are unsure of your rights, talk to a DUI attorney in the Seattle or King County areas. You can reach an experienced DUI defense attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense by calling 425-284-2000. Contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 16 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.

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