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Drunk driving checkpoints: The good, the bad and the ugly

Several times throughout the year, South Carolina residents may see checkpoints put in place in order for authorities to crack down on impaired drivers. Drunk driving is a problem in the state, and these checkpoints are just one way police work to remove inebriated drivers from the streets. While there are certainly good things to be said about this practice, with every positive thing, negatives can usually be found.

So, what makes setting up checkpoints good? Some would say nothing. Others, though, simply believe it is best for keeping South Carolina roads safe. Public safety is, after all, a primary concern for local authorities.

What is bad about DUI roadblocks? Well, there can be arguments for a lot of things in this particular category. There is the inconvenience factor, of course, but there is also the chance of being ticketed or arrested without having sufficient cause.

Despite the good things that can be said about sobriety checkpoints, the ugly thing about them is the concern about errors in judgment on part of police officers when trying to determine whether drivers are impaired. Sobriety testing is largely based on chemical and physical testing. It has been determined that chemical testing does have its flaws, and the results of physical testing are based primarily on the judgments of the police officers conducting the tests -- which can also be questionable.

A drunk driving conviction is serious, and the penalties associated with this type of outcome can have a drastic effect on the life of the individual and his or her family members. South Carolina residents who have been charged with impaired driving after being stopped at DUI checkpoints retain the right to a criminal defense and legal representation. Questioning test results will play a big part in the defense of such accusations.

Source: wbtw.com, "Safety checkpoints gear up in Pee Dee to crack down on drunk drivers", Taylor Herlong, July 10, 2015

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