DUI Checkpoints

DUI Checkpoints Praised By Doctor In Editorial

A Florida Lawyer recently posted his advice to drivers who encounter DUI checkpoints. His advice; refuse to lower your windows, post a sign that says you will not cooperate, and request a lawyer. His advice has gone viral but is it good advice? Is driver safety being served by his advice?

Dr. Barron H. Lerner, professor of medicine and population health at the NYU School of Medicine has posted an editorial in Forbes that not only refutes the lawyer’s advice but urges state lawmakers to pass laws making refusal to cooperate in DUI checkpoints a crime. In his words, “Drunk driving checkpoints should be celebrated, not avoided.”

In 2012, the latest year for which there is data, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 10,322 highway deaths, including 239 children under the age of 14, due to drunk driving. That’s thirty-one percent or almost one-third of the total 33,561 traffic deaths in 2012. According to NHTSA, an alcohol related fatality occurred every 51 minutes in 2012. While alcohol fatalities have gone down significantly since the 1980s, they are still too high.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  there are approximately 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving on America’s roads each day.

Studies have shown that states and localities with high visibility enforcement, including DUI checkpoints, have a lower number of drunk drivers on the road compared to areas with lower levels of DUI enforcement. Drivers in those areas with high enforcement are less likely to take a chance on drinking and driving if they know there’s a good likelihood that they may be stopped.

DUI checkpoints and vigorous enforcement of the laws make the roads safer for everyone. It seems to be a logical conclusion that only those who have been drinking and have a fear of arrest for DUI would feel a need to refuse to cooperate at a DUI checkpoint. Those people are why the DUI checkpoints exist in the first place.

To read Dr. Lerner’s editorial, visit: Why Drunk Driving Checkpoints Should Be Celebrated, Not Avoided