Sobriety-Checkpoint Bill Advances; Some Legislators Should Start Worrying

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Photo by Jason Pratt
The American Beverage Institute is still keeping up its noble fight to stop the Texas legislature from passing a bill that would allow sobriety checkpoints on the roads.

SB298 has been passed by the Senate and now goes to the House.

"By calling for sobriety checkpoints, this proposal ignores the root cause of today's drunk driving problem -- hard core alcohol abusers," said ABI Managing Director Sarah Longwell.

It's those heavy drinkers, she says, that know how to avoid checkpoints. Instead it's the hapless "one glass of wine with dinner" driver who gets caught, the ABI says. (The ABI tends to talk a lot about the "one glass of wine with dinner" driver.)

So does this bill have a chance of passing? We can think of several Texas legislators who might be against it.

State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, who was in the lege for 22 years until 2007. A span which included his November 2001 arrest for DWI. Barrientos, who had regularly voted for toughening anti-drunk-driving laws, refused to take the breathalyzer test after consuming "three or four beers" in Austin.

State Rep Harold Dutton, Houston's own!, who was arrested in April 2007 for speeding and DWI. Dutton refused to take a breathalyzer.

State Rep Mike Krusee, an energetic supporter of "responsibility laws" when it comes to DWI, was arrested in May after being seen driving erratically. He -- surprise, surprise! -- refused to take a breathalyzer, and the charges were later dropped.

Honorable Mention: US Rep Kevin Brady, who got himself arrested in South Dakota for driving under the influence. Brady did give a breathalyzer test. And subsequently pleaded guilty.

Of  course, the list does not include all the judges, mayors and city councilpeople throughout the state who've been arrested for DWI. Or the arrests that go back more than a few years.

Or, more importantly, those who got pulled over but escaped a ticket with a "Do you know who I am?"


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