Should DWI Checkpoints Be Allowed in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Court of Appeals recently ruled that police sobriety (DWI) checkpoints are constitutional as long as the police “try” to publicize it. They keyword here is “try.”

In 2013, the New Mexico State Police sent a notice of their DWI checkpoint to a nonworking email address at a small radio station. Obviously the “notice” was never publicized.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque police DWI Sgt. Kyle Curtis said in a statement, “What the media does with the press release and or the media release is out of our hands.”

That statement is just ridiculous. The New Mexico State Police (and other Departments) know what they are doing. The Court of Appeals ruling will allow Departments to “try” and publicize notice in the most obscure ways possible.

I am not condoning Driving While Intoxicated in New Mexico. I cannot and will not condone drunk driving. DWI has destroyed far too many lives. If you must drink, have a designated driver or call an Uber to pick you up.

On the other hand, I cannot and will not condone illegal search and seizure. The Police are public servants and should be required to make a reasonable attempt to uphold the constitution. There should be a reasonableness test required when attempting to “publicize” the sobriety checkpoints. That seems like a fair requirement for Police Departments.

In the end, it may not matter one-way or the other because the Court ruled, “a lack of advance publicity, without more, is simply not sufficient to find that a DWI checkpoint constitutes an illegal seizure.

I guess we will have to wait and see if the New Mexico Supreme Court decides to hear the case. What do you think about this case or DWI checkpoints in general?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: