Five years ago, Washington lowered the federal blood-alcohol limit for drivers to .08. Since then, there's also been an increase in the number of sobriety checkpoints, those Fourth Amendment-shredding roadblocks that delay every driver so the cops can round up some tipplers. "Alcohol industry advocates and civil libertarians made two predictions after .08 and roadblocks went national," Radley Balko writes in Tech Central Station:
(1) Arrests would go up, triggering new outrages and calls for even more stringent laws...
(2) Highways would get less safe, as cops, courts, and jail cells that could be used to pursue actual drunken drivers would instead be used to apprehend social drinkers.
We've certainly seen plenty of point one -- state legislatures are falling all over themselves to pass extra-constitutional policies aimed at "cracking down" on impaired driving.
Unfortunately, point two is proving correct, too.
To find out how and why, read the full article here.