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New calls for drunk driving checkpoints


UNDATED (WSAU)   Mothers Against Drunk Driving has tried for years to get Wisconsin lawmakers to approve sobriety checkpoints. Now, a Democratic senator is floating the idea. Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee tells the Appleton Post-Crescent that he’s philosophically moving toward setting up roadblocks to see if drivers are impaired. He says only a fraction of drunk drivers get caught and quote, “I don’t want them to get into a car and use it as a weapon.”

But Assembly Republican Dean Kaufert of Neenah, who’s a tavern owner, has long fought sobriety checkpoints. He says they’re not the answer to solving the problems associated with drunk driving and quote, “I worry about the infringement on civil liberties.”

Thirty-eight states have some type of sobriety checkpoints. Carpenter says Wisconsin could ease into them by running them only on days when drinking is most popular – like New Year’s Eve and Saint Patrick’s Day. Two G-O-P lawmakers have introduced a half-dozen other new measures to further crack down on driving drunk.