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Memorial Day weekend and drunk driving enforcement

Memorial Day weekend can see a lot of different things when it comes to the nation’s roads. This includes police being particularly watchful for drunk driving and other traffic safety issues. In some states, these efforts involve sobriety checkpoints. However, that isn’t the case here in Michigan.

This is because Michigan is one of the states that doesn’t allow these checkpoints. These checkpoints have been deemed unconstitutional under the state’s constitution.

Of course, there are plenty of special enforcement tactics that aren’t banned under the state’s constitution that Michigan can see over holiday periods. One of these is increased levels of cops out on the roads. Police in the state have plans to have upped numbers on the roads this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. One wonders what sort of police enforcement actions and tactics this holiday weekend will end up seeing in the state when it comes to drunk driving.

Now, just because a particular police tactic for drunk driving enforcement isn’t subject to a blanket ban under the state (or federal) constitution doesn’t mean that constitutional issues can’t come up in connection to it. There are various different constitutional rights it is important for police to respect in their law enforcement efforts. How police executed a given enforcement tactic aimed at drunk driving can touch on how closely these rights were respected. So, when a person is facing drunk driving allegations in relation to drunk driving enforcement tactics used by police, how these tactics were executed can be a significant issue. A police tactic being found to have been executed in an unconstitutional way can have major impacts in an OWI case.

Source: Detroit Patch, “No Memorial Day 2017 DUI Checkpoints, But Michigan Police Out,” Beth Dalbey, May 24, 2017

Governors Highway Safety Association, “Sobriety Checkpoints,” Accessed May 25, 2017

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