• 490
At "no-refusal" DUI checkpoints, officers have a judge ... At "no-refusal" DUI checkpoints, officers have a judge on call to issue search warrants (Getty Images).
Alcohol has played a large role in making Independence Day the deadliest day on the calendar for American drivers in recent years.

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 637 Americans have been killed on the holiday between 2008 and 2012. That's an average of 127.4 people killed every July 4th. Roughly 44 percent of July 4th fatalities were caused by drunk driving in the latest year for which data was available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In an effort to combat these deaths, law-enforcement officials in several states and counties have rolled out controversial "no-refusal" DUI checkpoints. Set up like traditional DUI checkpoints, these differ in an important way: Drivers suspected of operating under the influence who refuse to take a breathalyzer test will have their blood drawn, regardless of whether they consent.

Generally, drivers arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence can refuse to consent to a breathalyzer or other chemical test, such as blood or urine. Only after obtaining a search warrant can police then legally test the suspect. At a "no-refusal" checkpoint, however, police on the scene are issued a warrant by an on-call, or "mobile," judge and drivers are forced to have their blood taken and tested.

Police in Tarrant County, Texas, for instance, will have such checkpoints in effect throughout the holiday weekend, according to NBC DFW. The district attorney's office intends to publish the names and ages of anyone arrested for DUI during this time period.

"We continue to support 'no refusal' because we believe the citizens of Tarrant County should be able to travel our roadways without putting their lives at risk," Assistant District Attorney Richard Alpert said in a statement explaining the decision to use the checkpoints. "Ending up dead or in jail is a poor way to celebrate our country's independence."

Law enforcement in other states such as Tennessee, Florida and Oregon have also legalized and used the checkpoints.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, "no-refusal" checkpoints have been met with some fierce criticism. Opponents of the checkpoints generally claim their use is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which grants American citizens certain protections against searches and seizures.

"Any time government is allowed to commit a seizure of your body and withdraw evidence prior to being arrested for a crime opens the door for a lot of issues," defense attorney Gregory P. Isaacs told knoxnews.com when Tennessee first started using them back in 2011. "This law really opens Pandora's box on virtually every DUI stop and weakens all of our fundamental freedoms."

Opponents have also criticized the physical act of forcibly taking blood, pointing to an intense video from MyFox Atlanta showing a suspect being strapped down to a gurney by numerous officers and having his blood drawn by an on-site nurse.

Man Ticketed for Giving Heads Up on DUI Checkpoint


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 490 Comments
      • 10 Months Ago
      on my birthday as I stepped out of my car a drunk driver slammed into it totaling my car...impact was so bad just the force alone threw me a few feet back. although not really injured I was mad as hell and decided that I was going to do something about it...as a volunteer for a local pd specializing in dui checkpoints I can no longer count how many drunk drivers I have helped put away. I drink, but do not endanger people's lives by driving...think about it, unless of course you're a cold hearted sob, then you really need to be put away---come drive by my checkpoint, me and my cop friends are very accommodating.
        mustangman6799
        • 10 Months Ago
        See my comment above yours. You should be ashamed of yourself. And you could start by learning something about the people who have died to give you the liberty and freedom you're pissing away because you almost got hurt that one time. To be clear, I am 100% against drunk driving and believe the penalties for driving drunk are far too lenient. BUT, my freedom to travel unmolested and my right to be secure in my person, effects and papers is FAR more important.
          mustangman6799
          • 10 Months Ago
          @mustangman6799
          Telvis, it's not my job to come up with ideas on how the cops should do what they need to do. It IS my job to speak out against my rights being violated. Being forced to stop at a checkpoint because 1 in 500 cars MIGHT have someone behind the wheel who MIGHT have had too much to drink is a violation of my (and everyone else who was forced to stop without being suspected of a crime) rights. If you watch the videos at the top, they interview the Lakewood, WA police chief and he even says he's against checkpoints because they treat everyone as a criminal and he doesn't approve of that. There's another video by the ACLU that says checkpoints are ineffective and saturation patrols are more effective and less expensive- and don't violate constitutional rights. There are other ways.
          Chip
          • 10 Months Ago
          @mustangman6799
          He never said he'd do anything to you, your "effects" and (rolling) papers.
          telvis
          • 10 Months Ago
          @mustangman6799
          How would you get drunk drivers off the road? The cops way gets drunks off the road as well as lower the number of drunks on the road. In my area the cops announce in advance when a check point will happen just not where but I'm sure if you have a better idea how to do it they would listen.
        Chip
        • 10 Months Ago
        Go get 'em Steven!! I agree with you.
        schlauger1
        • 10 Months Ago
        No you are not accommodating in the main. You are intrusive butt nuts making me feel like I have no rights because you have billy clubs and maybe guns.
      mustangman6799
      • 10 Months Ago
      I don't drink and was almost killed by a drunk driver - spent over a month in the hospital and two plates, 14 screws and chronic pain to show for it. I AM 100% AGAINST THESE UNLAWFUL CHECKPOINTS! ALL of OUR freedom is worth more than my, or anyones life!
        schlauger1
        • 10 Months Ago
        @mustangman6799
        Amen. Too many people don't get it until it's too late.
        • 10 Months Ago
        @mustangman6799
        When u drive drunk you dont have the freedom to kill someone jackass..
        telvis
        • 10 Months Ago
        @mustangman6799
        So a drunk drivers freedom is worth more than your life? Not mine or anyone else I know,My life is worth more than a drunk drivers freedom. I don't care how they get drunk driver off the road as long as they do. Next time you may not be so lucky and a drunk will finish the job but at least the drunk will have the freedom to kill.
          schlauger1
          • 10 Months Ago
          @telvis
          No, their freedom is not the issue. They deserve all kinds of consequences. Study a few things, [;ease, about the direction our country is taking.
          mustangman6799
          • 10 Months Ago
          @telvis
          Stop being so selfish for a moment and think of the implications of the grand scheme. As I've said, I'm completely against drunk drivers, but that's not the point here. The point is the freedom that's being removed from EVERYONE in the country under the guise of stopping drunk drivers. This is how it happens- they find something that a minority of people do that a majority of people are against and they use that to take something away from everyone "for our safety". Then they do it again and again and again with something else. Pretty soon, you're scratching your head thinking, "Man, I used to barbeque all the time but lighter fluid and charcoal are just too dangerous because 18 houses were burned down last year and 9 people were killed."
      msjclassof1959
      • 10 Months Ago
      Keep voting the way we have been and see how things improve.
        • 10 Months Ago
        @msjclassof1959
        Yep
      • 10 Months Ago
      DUI checkpoints should be outlawed. While their "purpose" SOUNDS noble, in the end it's just another erosion of our rights to free passage in this country. I am sick and tired of the government sticking it to the great unwashed masses because SOME of them may be criminally liable for some reason or another. How long will it be before we have to line up on city streets and submit to urinalysis tests because SOME folk might be using drugs? How about patting everyone down during some police-run "concealed weapons checkpoint"? How about monthly door to door police shakedowns called "child abuse procedural checkpoints"? How about bringing in bomb/drug sniffing dogs for our "homeland security antiterrorist checkpoints"? ENOUGH ALL READY! Prosecute criminals AFTER they've committed a crime, don't persecute the public just in case someone might.
        telvis
        • 10 Months Ago
        So you think I should have the right to get drunk,get in my car and kill you and your family "Prosecute criminals AFTER they've committed a crime," Drunk driving itself is not a crime or just when some innocent victim without rights is killed?
          mustangman6799
          • 10 Months Ago
          @telvis
          When the alternative is to destroy some of the freedom of millions of people, yes. Drunk driving itself is a crime and when the police catch a drunk driver without violating the rights of 2000 people to do it, that person should be penalized. We're not talking about the rights of the drunk driver here so much as we are talking about the rights of the non-drunk drivers that are being harassed by the police with checkpoints.
          • 10 Months Ago
          @telvis
          @"So you think I should have the right to get drunk,get in my car and kill you and your family" Calm down, cupcake, and learn to THINK. Let's start by examining the 3 parts of your ridiculous comment that you bundled together in a feeble attempt at making ME look like the stupid one: 1. "So you think I should have the right to get drunk..." Yes, I do. 2. "get in my car..." Once you are drunk, there are laws against driving. And just as with lying, cheating and stealing, there are penalties to be paid for transgressing the law. That does NOT give you or anyone else the right to stop me and check to see if I am in the process of lying, cheating, stealing or driving drunk. 3. "...and kill you and your family" You don't have that right regardless of whether you are drunk or not. Being "drunk" when you kill someone is an aggravating factor that exacerbates your crime and often increases the penalty. And let's look at your other ridiculous comment while we're at it: "Drunk driving itself is not a crime or just when some innocent victim without rights is killed?" Murder is a crime, too. As I alluded to in my original post, perhaps YOU would like the police to set up "anti murder checkpoints" to help cut down on murder. Maybe you should write your congressman an have him present a "hand holding" bill to congress, whereby nobody is allowed to leave their homes without written permission from authorities signifying that you have been investigated and are found to be unlikely to commit a crime. That should keep you feeling nice and safe and comfy, eh, cupcake?
        mustangman6799
        • 10 Months Ago
        Thank you.
        cdsuzi8878
        • 10 Months Ago
        Check points, isn't that a tactic the NAZI'S used??? What was WW2 all about, the Nazi's are in control now.
      excontroller
      • 10 Months Ago
      This is just another law, in a LONG LIST, that totally ignores the United States Constitution. There has been a concerted effort to abolish most of the civil liberty protections since George W. Bush's administration was in office. The US Supreme Court has been permitted to bastardize our Constitution and eliminate any protection it so desires. I think it's time, we the people, rise up and take back our country! PERHAPS, it's time to remove EVERYONE from Congress and start over. These guys don't seem to do what WE want, just what THEY want.
        bblongshot
        • 10 Months Ago
        @excontroller
        And what about your exalted leader you think he is doing what you want?They are all corrupt and should be thrown out on their butts better yet as in Obama's case locked up.
        jdsept
        • 10 Months Ago
        @excontroller
        85% of incumbents will win 2014 like almost every election. people tend to like who they have already voted in, but dislike who others voted in.
          Calvin
          • 10 Months Ago
          @jdsept
          The real problem is people not voting.They all think one vote won't matter,not realizing almost everyone else is thinking the same thing.Also you have the ones that won't take the time to vote,they just can't be bothered.So I guess we're pretty much getting what we deserve.
      rjen164497
      • 10 Months Ago
      Someone will take this to the Supreme court and every DUI conviction will get thrown out, and all people caught up in this will sue the government for illegal search and detainment. It's time for citizens to set up information check points prior to these gestapo check points. The check points would warn drivers to detour the area because of delays. Isn't it funny police don't have enough resources to protect citizens from crime and court cases are backed up because the judges only work 3 hours a day, yet they can play this game and the judges are available.
        kcarthey
        • 10 Months Ago
        @rjen164497
        May it be your own child you run over while you drive drunk and not someone else's.
        jdsept
        • 10 Months Ago
        @rjen164497
        1) the SC has already said check points are totally Constitutional 2) Getting a warrant means the cop has to offer probable cause, the same as when he arrests you and takes YOU to the station where tests are taken. My state, refuse the test and its automatic conviction which withstood court challenges. What's so hard about "don't drink and drive"
      nanainvt
      • 10 Months Ago
      This is called unreasonable search and seizure and must be halted by We the People.
      gem646
      • 10 Months Ago
      I hope a few of them get run over at their checkpoints. PIGS! They have forgotten they serve the people, most politicians have as well.
      comfortablyxxxnumb
      • 10 Months Ago
      Although I have no sympathy for drunk drivers, I am not sure I like this idea unless the blood is drawn by a licensed nurse. But then again, there is no need to have blood drawn if you agree to the breathalizer, is there? Have at it buys. I have been to too many funerals of friends and relatives that were killed due to drunk drivers. Lock them all up. The lives you save may be mine or my family members.
      wtrfrd
      • 10 Months Ago
      BIG DIFFERENCE !!! Freedom from illegal search is a RIGHT. Driving is a PRIVELEDGE The mere fact that this is being proposed, let alone initiated in practice, shows how perverted our national principles have become. Before the babble ranting starts.... I am not a liberal lefty..... I am not a tea party nut..... I am an American Citizen. Our willingness to compromise the principles that brought forth this nation in the interest of fear has eroded all we once stood for. If I hear one more politician state... " We will not let the terrorists win ! We will not compromise our beliefs and our way of life based on these actions !" Bullspit !!!!! We have compromised fundamental tenants in response to these lunatic zealots. (NSA) Now we are just expanding the practice to everyday matters. I don't drink and drive..... I believe those who do should be incarcerated..... I believe those who kill with an automobile while under the influence should face criminal charges. I believe these actions should be in accordance with our (once) fundamental beliefs as a nation. In nearly every state the refusal to take a test results in the revocation of your "PRIVELEDGE" to drive. Driving is not recognized as a RIGHT.... it is a PRIVELEDGE and can be suspended. Freedom from illegal search is a RIGHT ! . Have safety sobriety check points.... you are engaged in an activity that is a privilege. Part of your license conditions and privilege includes as a condition that if found suspect on REASONABLE GROUNDS you are subject to a breathalyzer test. If you refuse your driving privileges are revoked. Then clearly define beforehand REASONABLE CAUSE / GROUNDS. In the next rant..... stop strip searching grandmothers with knitting needles..... get honest... get practical..... 99% of every major terrorist act committed against the US has been perpetrated by Arabic and Muslim males. Searching this group is not "profiling" IT's FRIGGIN MATH !!!!! Yes it is targeting.... because they are the BUULSEYE !!!! You don't hit your target by spraying bullets in every direction.... so that it is fairer for the target. That's all folks....
      stepdropp
      • 10 Months Ago
      Welcome to the new United States of America. Being an Obama voter "twice" I know that I am too stupid to make decsions for myself and I have to have the "nanny state" look at everthing I do in life since I am an Obama voter. Being the idiot Obama voter that I am I have decided to surender all of my rights given to me by no man under the constituion of the United States since it's better for the hive or the village not to be able to think and decide for myself. The burden of freedom and liberty is no longer my problem. The worst part about being able to be an Obama voter was I had to have 9/10s of my brain removed in order to quilify to vote for Obama.
      Bob Kraft
      • 10 Months Ago
      "To Protect And To Serve." Yeah. Right. Checkpoints are money makers for the municipalities in which they are conducted. In the meantime, the restaurants and bars lose revenue, and accordingly the municipalities lose their taxes, because more and more patrons are staying home. Kinda gives a revised meaning to "Independence Day," doesn't it?
    • Load More Comments