The best way to reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities is to set up more sobriety checkpoints, especially in the 10 states that bar them, says Mothers Against Drunk Driving, according to the Associated Press. Checkpoints reduce alcohol-related fatalities by 20 percent, said MADD President Wendy Hamilton. As MADD approaches its 25th anniversary this year, the percentage of traffic deaths that are alcohol related has been stable for six years.
The Supreme Court upheld the legality of checkpoints in 1990, but 10 states do not allow them, many because their constitutions have not been amended. MADD listed the 10 as Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The American Beverage Institute says checkpoints are more likely to persuade people to not drink at all when they visit a restaurant or a ball game. “That is misguided because the people in the restaurants are not the drunk driving problem,” said president John Doyle. A better strategy is so-called “DUI court,” where offenders are forced to undergo testing and rehabilitation on their own dime, he said.