DUI Checkpoint This Weekend

Officers will check for alcohol, seatbelt compliance and use of child safety seats.

The Howard County Police will set up a sobriety checkpoint somewhere in the county this weekend, police said in a statement Wednesday. Police will be in marked and unmarked vehicles in a setting with lights and signage.

While the department did not say where the checkpoint would be, it did say what officers will be looking for:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Failure to wear seat belts
  • Lack of child safety seats

The checkpoint is partially funded by a grant from the Maryland Highway Safety Office and falls under the Checkpoint Strikeforce, a multi-state initiative to take impaired drivers off the roads.

This is the second DUI checkpoint this summer, after police on the Fourth of July.

In Howard County, alcohol was involved in 25 percent of fatal crashes last year, according to the Howard County Police Department, which arrested 1,391 people for driving under the influence in 2011.

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Jack Lucas August 17, 2012 at 02:20 PM
What a waste of time and money.
Dave August 17, 2012 at 03:02 PM
The police state must show it's authority (and collect money)!
Brook Hubbard August 17, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Yeah, after all, we can't let the police crack down on those innocent people who just want to drink and drive. That's what the Founding Fathers were all about, the freedom to do what we want regardless of the consequences! I mean, doesn't the Constitution protect my right to put myself and others at risk?
Dave August 17, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Sure, why not take it one step further and have them do door-to-door whole house searches? I'm sure many people have safety issues within their homes (lack of smoke detectors, easy access to kitchen knives or household poisens, lack of child gates at steps with children present, the list goes on and on. The police could make us all safer if they forceably inspected our homes whenever they chose...
Brook Hubbard August 17, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Slippery Slope fallacy.
Dave August 17, 2012 at 07:56 PM
It's not a fallacy. Remember when they first went to pass the seatbelt law? There was opposition, and one of the 'compromises' was to make it a secondary infraction, meaning a person would only be cited if he or she committed a primary offense. Of course, eventually it got changed to a primary offense. Anyway, my point wasn't about the slippery slope. Or rather, I was using it to my benefit to make a point. I was advocating the slippery slope, not being wary of it. I was using the 'if it only saves one life' argument. My point was, sure, if it saves a life or two by checking every car for seatbelt and babyseat infractions, how many more lives can they save by searching every house?
MR6453 August 17, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Your attitude will change real quick if God forbid you lose someone you love to a drunk behind the wheel.
Brook Hubbard August 17, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Your point was to scare people by suggesting that one manner of government control over our lives would lead to harsher levels. That is fallacy as it does not persuade people by appealing to logic, it persuades them through fearmongering. Seat belt laws were suggested by doctors, not the government. The government simply listened to common sense and did something about it. Maryland passed its first law in 1986... we did not become a police state after that. Maryland change its law to a primary offense in 1997... we did not become a police state after that. There is no reality behind the concept that occasional police checkpoints for drunks and seat belt offenders leads to a loss of freedom. This is doubly so since driving is not a right, it's a privilege. Don't like the rules? Don't break them or don't drive.
Dave August 17, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I admit, a tragic event might make me want to make an emotional decision. And that's the problem with the way much of society (and this state especially) makes and enforces laws. I don't believe the state has the authority to detain & inspect/search a person (vehicle included) without probable cause. And like I said, if that is such a good idea, why not have them search every house and save even more loved ones? And the slippery slope argument actually does apply here - they used to be simply sobriety checkpoints - now they're checking seatbelts, child seats. We give up just waayy too much power to the authorities in this state over safety and emotional situations and in every instance it just gives the state another income source. I'm sorry but we just disagree. You believe the state has nothing but good intentions and is only trying to help all of us by saving lives. I believe the state is using emotional issues to advance their control over the population and gain access to more revenue streams. It's all about power and money, is what I believe.
Brook Hubbard August 17, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Would those "revenue streams" exist if people didn't break the laws? Do you believe the legislation is wrong and that these laws (DUIs, seat belts, car seats, etc.) should not exist in the first place?
Dave August 17, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I do not agree with the legislation about the seatbelt laws. I do agree with drunk driving laws, however I stand by my belief that there must be probable cause before the state can detain a person, test him, and check inside his vehicle. Is it ok for the police to stop every person walking down the publically funded sidewalks and search inside their pockets or backpack for drugs, weapons, or stolen items? It could save lives and help a lot of people! And I wont even mention the issue of asking illegals for proof of citizenship, although it all falls into a similar argument, which falls under probable cause .
MR6453 August 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Dave, driving is a priveledge, not a right. Therefore the state does have the right, and duty to check that the priveledge is not being abused in the interest of the safety of others.
Dave August 17, 2012 at 11:41 PM
oh, since 'driving is a right', all that 'probable cause' baloney that citizens and officers alike have been taught for so many years doesn't apply? They don't need any reason to pull you over? Check inside your car? Check your breath? I go back to my main argument - using your logic and belief of the rule of law, if it saves just one life, the police should be pulling over every single car on the road just to check for anything and everything - driving's a privilage, remember - and it could save lives! We just disagree. You are one of the many people in this state who want to give up some liberty to gain some safety and security. I would rather have my liberty and take the risk of having a little less gov't imposed 'safety'. (and no, I don't want everyone driving around in a drunken free-for-all. just adhere to 'probable cause')
Ladyhawkkk1 August 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM
To dave: If you have never had a family member or friend who has died or been in a serious accident because some selfless drunk chooses to get behind the wheel, that would definitely change your mind. Check points for drunk driving in my opinion helps. It’s not about money or power -If they get the drunks off the road -one less family will not have to experience the trauma of a knock on the door or a call in the middle of the night from law enforcement informing them their family member is dead or in the hospital. Checking seat belts or child seat is fine in also onlyIf law enforcement see’s the obvious than yes -pull them over. I know firsthand that seat belts save lives. My child was in a serious accident and almost died. Heading down to shock trauma is not something anyone should have to experience.
Dave August 18, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Again, I prefer NOT to legislate by emotion. Do I need to repeat everything I already said above? If the police can stop EVERY car on the road without reason and without probable cause JUST BECAUSE IT MAY SAVE ONE LIFE OR HELP ONE FAMILY, we are giving the state permission to bypass the intended law and telling them they can do anything "if it may save just one life"! It's wrong, but evidently mob rules in this state.


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