A new law in Kansas City may spread the blame around for drivers who drink and then get behind the wheel. Law enforcement has added an element to their questionnaire when pulling over an individual who they suspect has been drinking, or even at sobriety checkpoints. Under the new policy, drivers will be asked where they were last drinking. The measure is intended to crack down on bartenders and establishments that may be regularly serving their patrons alcohol well after the point of intoxication.
The policy is in conjunction with a city ordinance that places fairly strict restraints on establishments that serve alcohol. under the local ordinance, no one may serve alcohol to those who are intoxicated, appears intoxicated, or even to “habitual drunkards.”
It remains to be seen how exactly this new policy will play out. According to law enforcement, they are not looking to immediately suspend anyone’s liquor license. Rather, they say the hope is to join forces with local restaurants and bars to help keep the streets safer and decrease drunk driving incidents, and fatalities in particular.
This is a worthy goal, but does still place an interesting burden on those who are accused of driving while intoxicated, as well as those who serve alcohol. The new policy has only been in effect for a matter of weeks, so its efficacy has not been established in Kansas City, but similar programs in other states have seen results and are catching on.
Of course, this produces some additional difficulties for those who are pulled over for drunk driving. It is still unclear what penalties may be in place, if any, should an individual refuse to name names. If you have been charged with drunk driving, it is crucial to get proper legal representation. Without an experienced attorney fighting for your fair treatment, you may see your rights violated.
Source: Kansas City Star, “Bartenders alert: KC police to ask DUI arrestees, ‘Where were you drinking?’,” Joe Robertson, Feb. 09, 2017