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Drunk-Driving Checks Voided in Rhode Island

July 08, 1989|From Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Drunk-driving roadblocks violate the Rhode Island constitution even if they are operated under guidelines that the U.S. Supreme Court has implied are acceptable, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The roadblocks are an invasion of privacy under the state constitution's declaration of rights, which is stricter than the federal Bill of Rights, the high court said in a 3-2 decision.

Police officials said the ruling would have little practical effect because few Rhode Island police departments use roadblocks to check for drunk drivers. But one police chief who favors them said the ruling could lead to more injuries and deaths.

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