Former police sergeant behind push to outlaw DUI checkpoints in Missouri

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a former sergeant with the O’Fallon, Missouri, police department, State Rep. Justin Hill, R-St. Charles County, has a unique perspective on the issue of sobriety checkpoints.

He’s completely opposed to them.

“In this day and age with social media, it’s so easy to avoid a DUI checkpoint,” Hill told FOX4.

In addition to the cost of patrolling the checkpoints, Hill’s biggest grievance with checkpoints centers around whether the enforcement infringes on citizens constitutional rights.

Hill favors police saturation patrols to combat the danger of drunk driving.

“In a DUI checkpoint, it’s a random ‘check your papers, please’ kind of situation,” Hill said. “Now (with saturation patrols) a police officer has to develop probable cause, which is a great thing. It’s the rights that we all have in the constitution.”

Hill is sponsoring House Joint Resolution 11, which would put the issue before voters in the form of a potential constitutional amendment.

“It’s not about convenience. It’s about constitutional rights,” Hill said. “Would they be OK with doing a checkpoint for guns? Or checking people’s free speech?”

Chris Mann, a Kansas City attorney with longstanding ties to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), is opposed to the measure.

“It’s been proven that states that have sobriety checkpoints in their toolbox have lower rates of DUI fatalities than states that don’t,” Mann told FOX4.

Mann said statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention support his argument.

“The only actual data out there shows that these checkpoints save lives,” he said.

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