North Dakota Lawmakers Consider Banning DUI Roadblocks

The North Dakota House of Representatives does not want police to be able to set up roadblocks to detain and question motorists without any reason to believe they are engaged in wrongdoing. Under legislation passed last month by a 79 to 14 vote, driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints would no longer be allowed in the state. The measure is now before the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The cold hard fact… is that sobriety checkpoints are terrible at apprehending drunk drivers,” state Representative Rick Becker (R-Bismarck), the bill’s sponsor, said. “They fail miserably at apprehending. There’s really not much debate on that aspect.”

Becker pointed to a study that showed 63 percent of individuals with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of 0.08 were able to slip through a roadblock undetected. Becker insisted that roving patrols of police officers on the lookout for drunks behind the wheel had much higher success rates.