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Thu January 6, 2011
Crime Commission Calls For Sobriety Checkpoints
By BJ Austin, KERA News
Dallas, TX – The North Texas Crime Commission is pushing lawmakers to pass "sobriety checkpoints" this legislative session. KERA's BJ Austin says the Commission takes its "anti-crime" package to Austin next week for the start of the 82nd Legislative Session.
"Sobriety checkpoints" allow police to stop drivers at specified locations to check for DWI. Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd says Texas leads the nation in the number of drunk-driving related deaths.
Boyd: How many cars going the wrong direction on the North Dallas toll road, or coming up the wrong ramp because people are inebriated is it going to take before we wake up in this state?
Chief Boyd says the bill to allow sobriety checkpoints also provides strict rules for set-up, location, advertising, monitoring and regulation.
Boyd: Everything is in there to make sure this is a very controlled atmosphere. You don't just run out and set up a checkpoint because you feel like doing it that night.
He says 39 other states have figured out how to do the DWI checkpoints and protect constitutional rights, and Texas should follow suit.
Other Crime Commission priorities include a statewide ban on K-2 and Spice - synthetic versions of marijuana, and increasing "burglary of a motor vehicle" to a state jail felony from a misdemeanor.