This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Despite opposition from police and groups that fight drunken driving, the Utah House voted Thursday to ban DUI checkpoints, saying they are too intrusive and constitutionally dubious.
The House voted 41-33 to pass HB140 by Rep. David Butterfield, R-Logan, and sent it to the Senate where it is expected to face a tough fight.
Butterfield argued that checkpoints are an ineffective way to catch drunken drivers, an infringement on civil rights and an inconvenience for innocent Utahns. Opponents argued that courts have upheld checkpoints as constitutional, and said they do indeed help catch impaired drivers and deter others from drinking and driving.
"Research shows that saturation patrols [putting many officers in a problem area to look for signs of DUI driving] are far more effective," Butterfield said. "We should put all our time, energy and resources into that method, and stay away from a method that is constitutionally dubious."
Rep. Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, a former head of the Utah Highway Patrol, said both the Utah and U.S. supreme courts have upheld administrative checkpoints as constitutional. He said some agencies use checkpoints at strategic times, such as high school graduation, and find they greatly reduce DUI driving.