The Effectiveness of Sobriety Checkpoints in the Enhancement of Traffic Safety
Georgia Auto Accident Lawyers Analyze the Effectiveness of Sobriety Checkpoints in the Enhancement of Traffic Safety
Those who drive under the influence of alcohol continue to account for a significant number of serious accidents resulting in injury and death. The average number of DUI fatalities in the U.S. continues to hover at approximately 10,000 people per year. Because drunk drivers account for nearly one in three motor vehicle fatalities in a typical year, some traffic safety experts have proposed the use of sobriety checkpoints as a countermeasure to promote vehicle safety in Georgia. In this blog article, our Georgia auto accident lawyers consider the use of drunk driving checkpoints as a means of making our roadways safer.
Some critics contend that DUI sobriety checkpoints are ineffective in preventing alcohol-related car accidents. These skeptics contend that relatively few drunk drivers are arrested for DUI at roadblocks. Those who view sobriety checkpoints as an effective approach to preventing DUI fatalities counter that the key benefit of a DUI sobriety checkpoint is that it acts as a deterrent to potential drunk drivers.
Sources that include drivingtips.com estimate that only 1 percent of drivers that travel through sobriety checkpoints are arrested for DUI. This statistic is misleading for a couple of reasons. First, the purpose of DUI checkpoints is not to arrest drunken drivers. Rather, the goal is to encourage those who might otherwise choose to drive while intoxicated to make alternative arrangements if they will be drinking. Second, millions of people encounter DUI sobriety checkpoints, so even a small percentage of DUI arrests amount to tens of thousands of drivers under the influence that are removed from U.S. roadways.
Another key factor that must be weighed when considering the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints is that many motorists do not have a valid driver's license. Drivers who are operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license might never have satisfied the requirements to attain a driver's license or might have had their driver's license privileges suspended or revoked because of accidents, traffic violations, or DUI convictions. Because a substantial number of the motorists removed from the road at checkpoints are driving without a valid license, enforcement of licensing laws constitutes another safety benefit of sobriety checkpoints in Georgia. While checking to see if drivers have a valid license cannot be the focus of the sobriety checkpoint, this law enforcement tactic is a secondary benefit.
It is debatable whether the economics of sobriety checkpoints make them the most cost-effective means of preventing drunken driving accidents in Atlanta and the surrounding areas, but there can be little doubt that many drivers are removed from the road for both driving under the influence and driving without a license, which makes our roads safer.
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If you or someone close to you has been injured in collision caused by an alcohol-impaired driver you should contact one of our attorneys at Montlick and Associates for a free consultation to learn about your rights as well as what steps are necessary to protect those rights. Our firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over 35 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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