Missouri Legislature Defunds Sobriety Checkpoints

Missouri Legislature Defunds Sobriety Checkpoints

The Missouri legislature voted recently to cut funding for sobriety checkpoints to police departments from the Missouri Department of Transportation Traffic and Highway Safety Division. House Bill 4 (HB4) slashes funding for checkpoints to just $1 per year, a practical joke of an amount, which would go into effect on August 28, 2017.

Currently, the budget stands at $20 million. If the bill is signed by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, it will become official. According to Sergeant Jon Jensen with the Jackson Police Department, this would be money that would usually go to the DWI (driving while under the influence) Task Force.

Representative Scott Fitzpatrick, the republican from Shell Knob, introduced the amendment in February. According to Fitzpatrick, the money should go toward saturation patrols, which puts more officers out on the street patrolling rather than the need to stop a large number of cars at a random checkpoint. However, peer-review studies have shown sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving deaths by 20%. The House passed it on April 4th, and the Senate signed it off last Thursday, on May 4.

The attorneys at Sanders.Law are extremely outraged and deeply disappointed by this outcome. Our primary priority is ensuring the people of Missouri stay safe, something that will become harder if this bill passes. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Sanders.Law urges people to contact the governor’s office in an effort to convince him not to sign. The form is available here. MADD has also requested an urgent meeting with the governor and has asked that he veto the bill and restore funding to sobriety checkpoints.

MADD National Board Member Chris Mann spoke to Channel 41 news today about HB4, and the interview will air later tonight. Sanders.Law will keep fellow Missourians updated about their progress. We also hope to see you at our next Advisory Board Meeting tomorrow, May 9th, at Webster University at 5:30 p.m.

To get a personal injury case started, talk to one of our experienced Kansas City personal injury attorneys at Sanders.Law. Our team of highly rated lawyers is committed to getting our clients justice, which is more than just giving them a fair stake in court. We also strive to have their voices heard. Our job is to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions, which includes forcing liable parties to acknowledge their role in the injuries and damages of our clients. Our small firm provides the resources and professionalism that a large company has but combined with the personal attention found in small business. We also stay involved in the community and do our best to make it safer. Let our well-trained legal professionals help. Contact us at (816) 844-6938 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.


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