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Why doesn't Wisconsin have DUI checkpoints?

It does not take much for drivers to go over the legal limit of alcohol in their systems. While a variety of factors are at play, a chart from Business Insider shows, on average, how much a person can drink before reaching the 0.08 percent limit. For example, a 100-pound man could drink two drinks in an hour and hit 0.08 percent while a man who weighs 200 pounds would only have a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent after two drinks in an hour.

In Wisconsin, police can only pull over drivers if there is reasonable cause, such as a car weaving erratically through traffic. As of this writing, DUI checkpoints are illegal in the state and in several others. Legislation comes up every so often to implement these checkpoints, but they are generally shot down. There are a couple reasons why this is typically the case. 

Checkpoints potentially infringe on constitutional rights

This is a bit of a gray area, but some people believe that DUI checkpoints go against the Fourth Amendment, which states that citizens have protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. With DUI checkpoints, the police do not require reasonable cause to pull drivers over. Instead, everyone has to pull off to the side of the road. 

People question their effectiveness

Checkpoints make a certain amount of sense because they potentially deter people from drinking and driving in the first place if they know they will have to deal with a checkpoint. As a result, checkpoints in other states utilize a lot of resources and do not always result in any arrests. 

People can argue the pros and cons of DUI checkpoints all day and never reach a common consensus. Even without checkpoints, police officers in Wisconsin still have an array of tools at their disposal to catch drunk drivers, including breathalyzers and other sobriety tests. People should take care never to drive after drinking and to fight any DUI charges. 

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The Law Offices of Thomas Marola
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West Allis, WI 53227

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