Pennsylvania State Supreme Court Upholds DUI Checkpoints
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Catching drunken drivers at police roadblocks may cost more money and result in fewer arrests than roving patrols, but that is no reason they should be declared illegal, the state Supreme Court has ruled.
The ruling Monday upheld the 2003 conviction of Gary Beaman, of Pittsburgh, who was stopped by Pittsburgh police at a roadblock and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2001.
Beaman appealed, asserting that roadblocks should be declared unconstitutional if there is a more efficient way to enforce the state's DUI law.
In a 4-2 ruling upholding the Superior Court, the justices acknowledged statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation that showed the percentage of people stopped at roadblocks who are arrested for DUI is much lower than the percentage of arrests of drivers who are pulled over for suspicion of DUI. The statistics also show each arrest at a roadblock requires more man-hours than conventional roving patrols.
But the justices noted that the PennDOT official who testified in the case said it was difficult to compare the two enforcement methods because of the deterrent effect of publicly advertised roadblocks and the other costs of highway patrols, such as wear and tear on vehicles and the danger to officers making the arrests.
''Based on the record before us, we find that the trial court properly concluded that (Beaman) failed to show that DUI roadblocks are so ineffective that they must be declared constitutionally unreasonable,'' Justice Thomas Saylor said in the majority opinion.
You guys in Gore voting Penn should move.
Vee Need To See Your Paperz Pleeze