Kansas City, MO- DWI checkpoint are good for reminding motorists they shouldn’t be drinking and driving, but Missouri lawmakers voted this week to eliminate 2018 funding for sobriety checkpoints, a move law enforcement officers criticized.
Changing DWI Enforcement in Missouri
On May 4th, 2017, the state legislature approved a bill that will eliminate funding for sobriety checkpoints and divert it to saturation patrols. The bill then goes to the Governor to sign before it becomes law.
State Representative Justin Hill (R- Lake St. Louis) believes saturation patrols will be more efficient than sobriety checkpoints. He told KSDK- TV, “If we can use these funds to be more effective and at the same time provide comfort to Missourians saying, hey we’re not just going to check every driver out there, we’re going to take the enforcement to the offenders, I think it’s a win-win situation.”
Kansas City police disagree with the move to defund DWI checkpoints because they work as a deterrent and statistics show they take more drunk drivers off the road than patrols alone. KSHB reports that in the month of March saturation patrols arrested three drunk drivers, while 63 drunk drivers were arrested at three checkpoints.
What Are My Rights at a Missouri DWI Checkpoint?
Eliminating funding for DWI checkpoints in the state was a long shot, but legislators managed to get the law passed. It means federal funds will be allocated to patrols so that it won’t herald the end of road blocks in Missouri permanently. That is why it’s wise to know what your rights are when you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint.
What you must do:
You must stop; you can’t just drive through a checkpoint
Present your driver’s license and proof of insurance
Answer an officer’s questions honestly, lying to police can make your charges worse
What Are Your Rights:
You can turn around, but a patrol officer can stop you anyway
You can refuse field sobriety tests, breathalyzers and blood draws but you will lose your license immediately
You have the right to say as little as possible and limit your answers to “yes” and “no.”
While at the checkpoint, an officer is going to ask you a battery of questions to figure out if you are impaired. Questions can include:
What have you been doing tonight?
Did you have a drink with dinner?
Have you been drinking tonight?
How you answer those questions will determine if you are going to be subjected to further testing. Lying is ill-advised and could end up maker your legal matters worse. Respond to the officer honestly without incriminating yourself. The key is to say as little as possible and remain truthful.
Call a DUI Lawyer in Kansas City
Take your DUI charge seriously. The penalties for a drunk driving charge are the same whether you were arrested by a patrol officer or at a checkpoint. Let USAttorneys connect you with a DWI lawyer in Kansas City, Missouri who can build your defense and see that you avoid conviction.