We frequently bring you news about DUI checkpoints in and around the Bryan and College Station. DUI checkpoints are a pretty hot-button issue in the criminal defense field. At best they are an inconvenience and at worst they are an infringement on the rights of innocent people. In fact, some think they do not even work.

In a recent newspaper editorial, the managing director of the American Beverage Institute said she feels that DUI checkpoints do not do a good job of catching drunk drivers and "distract police from the essential job of finding dangerous drivers."

Chief among her assertions is that DUI checkpoints rarely result in DUI arrests. She cites data from several states to conclude that DUI checkpoints arrest between less than 1 percent and 3 percent of drivers who pass through them. Obviously, that is not a great return on investment and provides fuel for the argument that DUI checkpoints are a waste of police resources.

The managing director also said DUI checkpoints cost $10,000 to set up and said a roving patrol is just $300. We do not know where those figures came from or if they are accurate, but the point that DUI checkpoints are expensive -- and probably more expensive than just a patrolling police officer -- is clear to see.

She also notes that Utah and Connecticut are trying to get rid of DUI checkpoints. While it may appear doubtful now that Texas will ever follow suit, change is a long process that moves slowly. Perhaps if more states also come to the conclusion that DUI checkpoints are wasteful and intrusive, we might rethink the effectiveness of DUI checkpoints.

Source: The News Star, "Checkpoints not effective," Sara Longwell, Feb.18. 20112