DUI checkpoints are a popular tool used by police in North Dakota to catch drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, not everyone likes these checkpoints, and legislation to potentially get rid of them recently made it the state's House of Representatives for consideration. The bill was defeated, meaning that police officers can still use these checkpoints to try and catch those allegedly drunk driving.
House Bill 1442 sought to completely outlaw these DUI checkpoints. The bill clearly stated that rather than forcing all passing drivers to stop, police would have to have a "reasonable suspicion" to initiate a traffic stop. The main sponsor of the bill apparently feels that not only do DUI checkpoints force otherwise innocent drivers to be subjected to unwarranted stops, but that they are also largely ineffective.
Those who opposed the bill disagreed with this viewpoint. Multiple law enforcement agencies and other organizations testified that checkpoints serve an important function. These individuals said that DUI checkpoints not only help police officers get drunk drivers off the road, but they also act as a deterrent to drunk driving. Because of the overwhelming opposition to the bill, its sponsor said that he will probably not reintroduce it in the future.
DUI checkpoints can be an annoying aspect of life, and it looks as if they are not leaving North Dakota anytime in the near future. This news might be disappointing to those who were charged with drunk driving at a checkpoint. However, regardless of the circumstances leading to a person's arrest, it is usually important to begin working on a criminal defense as early on as possible. Minimizing criminal consequences and maintain driving privileges through an administrative hearing often hinge upon timely action.