DUI checkpoints in North Dakota could soon be a thing of the past. Sobriety checkpoints are used in North Dakota by police to deter drunk driving. But, lawmakers in Bismarck are talking about getting rid of them, saying there needs to be a reason to pull someone over.
Every 33 minutes someone dies at the hands of a drunk driver.
"It's not right that people should be putting people's lives in danger out there drinking and driving," says Jesse Rohrick, who lives in Fargo.
Stopping drivers at random isn't everyone's idea of a solution. "If you see someone swerving, then of course stop them. But, just stop them cause they are coming out of the concert and you think they are, maybe some of the police officers need to get checked,” says Latanya Rainey, who also lives in Fargo. She is like many others who are concerned checkpoints aren't effective.
In fact, a study in West Virginia found only 3% of those stopped were actually arrested.
"To me it's pretty sad with the constitution and all the laws they just don't stick by them. Me being a woman of color, you know, I just, I just don't have much merit in it," Rainey.
Fargo police argue they are a good tool to keep drunk drivers off the road, and Rohrick agrees. "The public should be protected from that kind of thing."
North Dakota has been tagged as the drunkest state in America. "There's not a lot to do up here, you know it doesn't seem like, so I guess I’ve found myself in the bar over the years, says Rohrick. He admits he's been arrested for drunk driving, and isn't opposed to checkpoints, “If you would have asked me 10 years ago I say absolutely not, get rid of them, but really they are putting other people's lives in danger."
Checkpoints cost thousands of dollars, primarily in overtime pay to the officers, and are funded by the federal government. Some believe the money can be better spent. Others say it's a price they are willing to pay if it saves someone's life.