Oregon Bringing Back Checkpoints?

Checkpoint33-300x213In 1987, Oregon’s state constitution explicitly banned DUI checkpoints on local roadways. A new bill has been brought in front of legislators for their consideration. If this passes through legislators it will go onto the ballot, and supporters hope to have the bill on the 2016 ballot. DUI checkpoints have proven a successful way of removing drunk drivers from the roadways. Checkpoints are usually required to be posted publicly, and those public postings serve more as a deterrent than anything.

Driver’s are reminded of the locations of DUI checkpoints, and they are reminded not to drink and drive. Many believe that posting DUI checkpoints makes it easy for drivers to avoid these locations. However, there are generally officers stationed in surrounding areas so drivers who try to avoid DUI checkpoints also get caught. The main thought behind alerting drivers that there will be a DUI checkpoint is reminding them that someone will be watching for drunk drivers. It is a very effective deterrent for drunk drivers.

Checkpoints are being reconsidered as a possibility because DUI related fatalities are on the rise again. In 2007 there were 138 DUI related deaths, and by 2010 the number had dropped to 56. In 2011, the number of DUI realted deaths rose again to over 80, and it was decided that something had to be done.

Checkpoints are often held on party-centric evenings, like Halloween or New Year’s Eve, but can also be utilized on other evenings as well, or in areas where DUIs are more frequent. The can be especially beneficial in college towns where DUIs are more likely to happen.