Friday, June 14, 2013

Should DUI Checkpoints Be Publicized?

MADD Opposed to Apps Publicizing DUI Stops

The well-known MADD group is opposed to apps that tells motorists the locations of DUI checkpoints.

Sennett Devermont, who created the free app MrCheckpoint, told LA Weekly that he thinks he’s providing a public service by providing daily updates on police DUI checkpoint locations scheduled throughout Southern California. The app has nearly nearly 42,000 followers and more than 20,000 text subscribers.

MADD Opposes MrCheckpoint

But MADD doesn’t see it that way.

The group whose acronym stands for Mothers Against Drunk Driving doesn’t equate MrCheckpoint with good deeds.

"While we support the publication of checkpoints as a deterrent to drunk driving,” LA Weekly quoted Pat Rillera, MADD’s executive director in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, “sites like MrCheckpoint alert drunk drivers so they can evade arrest. It's not meant as a positive."

Florida DUI checkpoints

There are several ways Florida motorists could find out about local DUI checkpoints, including the media and public service announcements made by law enforcement. For example, Hillsborough County sheriff’s department has some general details about their DUI checkpoints on their website.

MADD has long been known as a zero-tolerance organization and keeps a tally of annual deaths due to drunk driving. The group says someone in the United States dies every 53 minutes due to a drunk driving accident. In Florida, 30 percent of traffic deaths are DUI related. For more facts on Florida’s statistics and how the state ranks in comparison with other states, go here.

Drunk Driving Enforcement

MADD’s drunk driving enforcement fact sheet includes the following facts about sobriety checkpoints:

  • Forty states and DC conduct sobriety checkpoints
  • Highly publicized, highly visible, and frequent sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving crashes and deaths by an average of 20 percent, according to research
  • Arresting people is not the main goal of a DUI checkpoint. However, the perceived risk of getting caught, keeps many drunk drivers off the roadways when the checkpoints are highly publicized.
  • Sobriety checkpoints have the support of 87 percent of Americans
  • Sobriety checkpoints, which can be done with as few as three to five officers, can save communities between six dollars and 23 dollars in costs from alcohol-related crashes for every dollar invested in the checkpoint.
Photo credit: Nick.Fisher

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