Texoma law enforcement weigh in on proposed D.W.I. checkpoints

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

TX and OK-A San Antonio, Texas police officer went before lawmakers yesterday calling for permanent sobriety checkpoints, which are currently illegal in the state.

Permanent sobriety checkpoints are illegal in Texas because the state believes it's a violation of the 4th Amendment, which guards against unreasonable search and seizures. But officers say it will help them tackle drunk drivers.

"It will help officers in prosecuting and detecting the offensive driver while intoxicated and I also believe that it will help the officers protect the citizens of their jurisdiction," said Gunter police officer, Kyle Peck.

He said they've already made over 30 DWI arrests in the city this year so far, an increase from last year and he thought the proposal would help keep streets safer.

Right now, sobriety checkpoints are illegal in Texas because the state believes it's a violation of the 4th Amendment but they are allowed in Oklahoma. OHP captain, Ronnie Hampton said permanent checkpoints are set up in big cities and he said , so far, it's been successful.

"That kinda puts drinking drivers for that weekend period on alert that in this county there's a good chance you'll run into a sobriety checkpoint. But we see as good a results with our DUI saturations as we do with our DUI checkpoints," he said.

Hampton said in 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional in Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz. But it's up to the states to decide whether or not to allow them in their state.

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