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Justices rule checkpoints are legal.

Police officers in Kansas can set up roadblocks in hopes of catching drunken drivers, even though there is no specific state law that allows them to do so, the state Supreme Court declared today.

In making the ruling, seven Kansas State Supreme Court justices overturned an earlier ruling by Johnson County District Judge James Franklin Davis. Davis said the Legislature must pass a law specifically allowing such checkpoints before law enforcement officials can set them up.

The decision came in a case in which a motorist stopped in Leawood, Anthony Byer Davis, appealed the suspension of his driver's license by the state Department of Revenue. He had refused to take an alcohol breath test.

The Supreme Court's decision was unanimous.

"We reason that all specifics of police enforcement methods need not be legislated," Justice Fred Six wrote for the court. "Sobriety checkpoints are an exercise of authorized police powers."
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Title Annotation:Kansas anti-drunk driving roadblocks
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Dec 21, 1992
Words:149
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