Critics Argue Against Sobriety Checks

Police throughout the region will be conducting sobriety checks this weekend.

But some critics say the checkpoints make motorists less safe, not more.

Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, said sobriety checkpoints are ineffective.

"They pull those police officers off the roads," she said. "They stand in one spot. They talk to everyone who comes through. It's not targeted enforcement."

Caroline Cash, executive director of the Maryland chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, disagrees. She said the checkpoints keep drunken drivers off the road.

"Drunk driving is a horrendous crime that stays with families and stays with offenders for a lifetime," she said. "It's a shame that there's an organization that would call into question what has been proven as such an effective tool."

But it's a question of strategy, Longwell said. Instead of staying in one place, police should patrol the roadways looking for impaired drivers.

Cmdr. Hilton Burton said the Metropolitan Police Department will be operating sobriety checkpoints throughout the city tonight.

"We're going to have extra officers out and about throughout the city making sure that we try to deter people from drinking and driving," he said.

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

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