Since the U.S. Supreme Court declared sobriety checkpoints constitutional in 1990, a majority of states-including Virginia-have adopted this method of DUI detection into their law enforcement policy. Now it seems that one of the holdout states, Wisconsin, may soon succumb to outside pressure to implement sobriety checkpoints.

MADD Urging Wisconsin to Use Sobriety Checkpoints

On March 9, 2010, Laura Dean-Mooney, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, sent a letter to the co-chairmen of Wisconsin's Joint Committee on Finance. The letter urged the committee to hold a public hearing on Assembly Bill 547, which would legalize the option of sobriety checkpoints in Wisconsin.

Dean-Mooney claims that a study conducted by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the presence of sobriety checkpoints reduces drunk driving-related collisions and fatalities by 20%. The MADD president also notes that federal grants help fund the deployment of sobriety checkpoints in many states.

AB547 was introduced to the Wisconsin Committee for Criminal Justice on November 5, 2009. At that time, 5 different estimates of its implementation costs were submitted, but none of them were deemed accurate enough to proceed. The bill was transferred to Joint Committee of Finance on February 5, where it sits today.

A spokesperson for one of the letter's recipients says that proceeding with AB547 doesn't make sense until the provisions of another bill which strengthened penalties for DUI (known as OWI, or Operating While Intoxicated, in Wisconsin) takes effect. That bill was passed last year.

As of now, there is no indication if or when AB547 will be moved out of committee and brought before the Wisconsin House or Senate, where it would be voted on.

For more information on sobriety checkpoints, visit our library. 

Virginia DUI attorney Bob Battle aggressively defends those charged with a Virginia DUI after being stopped at a Virginia sobriety checkpoint. For proven legal help with your DUI case, contact Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.

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