DUI checkpoints cancelled due to new Mo. legislation barring use of state money

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sobriety checkpoints have been cancelled due new Missouri legislation that prohibits use of state money to fund them.

DUI checkpoints, which Kansas City police had announced would take place this weekend, have been cancelled through the rest of fiscal year 2017.

The law was passed on May 4.

While the law was making its way through the legislative process, activist group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) railed against the proposed cuts.

“We still are losing about 10,000 innocent lives annually to impaired drivers, and that’s with sobriety check points in full force right now, and if we cut funding in Missouri and don’t have sobriety check points, I’m afraid the death toll will rise,” MADD volunteer Leann Lewis said in April, after the Mo. House voted in favor of the cuts.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, who sponsored the bill, said there’s a more cost effective way of getting drunk drivers off the roads.

“In 2016 alone, there were more than 3,000 arrests as a result of saturation patrols, there were far fewer as a result of check points, and the checkpoint arrests cost over 1,000 dollars apiece to perform,” he said. “We’re not telling local law enforcement agencies they can’t do them, if they want to do them, they can, but the state funds that go toward getting drunk drivers off the road are going to be better spent with saturation patrols.”