Texas is among just a handful of states that don't allow sobriety checkpoints, but that soon may change. Opponents of the checkpoints are going on the defensive after the state Senate this week passed a bill allowing checkpoints under certain conditions.
Previous efforts to allow drunk-driving checkpoints have failed during legislative sessions, but advocates and supporters say the mood is decidedly different this year.
"We’re concerned the bill seems to have some traction there in Texas," said Sarah Longwell, managing director of the Washington-based American Beverage Institute, which represents restaurants. Longwell said she intends to travel to Austin to testify when the bill, which was approved Monday by the Senate, is heard in the House.
Senate Bill 298 by state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, would allow only certain agencies to operate checkpoints. Among them:
- The Texas Department of Public Safety
- Municipal police in cities with a population of 500,000 or more
- Sheriff’s departments in counties with populations of 250,000 or more.
-- Gordon Dickson, firstname.lastname@example.org