It’s no secret. North Carolina is one of the toughest states when it comes to cracking down on DWI crimes. Have you noticed more and more reports of DWI arrests made at Checkpoints throughout the state? Just last week, 92 charges were made at one (1) checkpoint in the Gastonia area. Those charges included among other charges:
- 4 DWI arrests
- 3 with open container/ABC violations
- 7 misdemeanor drug violations
- 14 arrested for driving with license revoked
- 18 With no license at all
- 1 with other license violations
- 2 with equipment violations
- 3 had insurance violations
- 22 had registration violations
- 7 had inspection violations
- 4 warrants were served
DWI Checkpoints are a part of the Governor’s Highway Safety program’s Booze It & Lose It initiatives. The focus of the campaign is to decrease the number of drunk or impaired drivers on the road through DWI enforcement and education. The sobriety checkpoints are set up in all counties across North Carolina, and since there are reports proving they are effective, we believe we will see more and more checkpoints throughout the state.
Breath Alcohol Testing At Checkpoints
At each checkpoint, law officers use mobile breath-alcohol testing units, or BATMobiles. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, each BATMobile is equipped with workstations for Intoxilyzer 5000 breath test instruments, cellular telephones, computers, officers’ workstations, magistrates’ work area, lavatory, DWI checkpoint signs, traffic cones, traffic vests, search batons, screening tests devices and all other necessary equipment and supplies for processing DWI suspects.
Is This Legal?
Police are permitted under U.S. Constitutional law to establish checkpoints provided they have a specific programmatic purpose, and are not generally used for general crime control. So long as law enforcement officers do not use checkpoints for general policing or racial or other profiling, the checkpoints are permitted. In North Carolina, the General Assembly has added a stipulation to make it clear that “cars may not be targeted for being a certain type or a drivers of a certain age (although police may target commercial vehicles),” in an effort to prevent profiling.
What do you think? Do you support having DWI Checkpoints in North Carolina, even though many of the charges are not DWI related?