Thousands of drivers and passengers are killed or injured in car accidents caused by drunken drivers every year. As we celebrate the New Year, we are all reminded to plan ahead and to assign sober drivers before parties begin. As the celebration of the coming year reminds us to be safe while we enjoy ourselves, one restaurant group believes that police should eliminate the use of sobriety checkpoints in their efforts to reduce drinking and driving.
The American Beverage Institute is asking police departments across the country to stop the use of sobriety checkpoints because the group says the checkpoints are ineffective and only harass drivers. The American Beverage Institute represents 8,000 restaurants. The group says that checkpoints are ineffective because the tactic only results in three DUI arrests for every 1,000 drivers that are stopped.
Police officials disagree with the restaurant group’s assertion and say checkpoints are effective despite the low average of arrests that are made. Police contend that sobriety checkpoints are effective tools of deterrence and education. The restaurant group argues the checkpoints harass responsible drivers who have had a few drinks before driving and that the tactic targets the wrong group of people.
The American Beverage Institute says that hard-core alcohol abusers are the real problem on America’s roadways and that roving patrols should replace checkpoints as the used tactic. Police say that a combination of the two strategies works best to prevent alcohol influenced car accidents.
Please be safe and plan ahead as you celebrate the New Year.