Lawmakers File Bill To Ban Sobriety Checkpoints
Law Enforcement Agencies, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Defend Practice
PROVIDENCE -- Two Democratic House lawmakers have introduced a bill that would outlaw roadside police checkpoints used to identify drunken drivers.
Rep. Charlene Lima is the bill's prime sponsor. She said the checkpoints violate people's civil rights, and "smack of a police state."
Law enforcement agencies and Mothers Against Drunk Driving defend the practice, citing the state's high alcohol-related deaths.
Police checkpoints have been illegal in Rhode Island since a court ruling in 1989 that they violate search and seizure provisions in the state Constitution. The U.S. Constitution allows them.
Attorney General Patrick Lynch wants the state Supreme Court to revisit the ban.
Gov. Don Carcieri has not decided whether to approach the court. His spokesman said he's working with state police on possible other solutions.
Rhode Island is one of 11 states that prohibit the practice.