‘Legal Hurdles’ With Roadside Checkpoints

August 1, 2018

[Updated] Roadside sobriety checkpoints will implemented by police after the Cup Match weekend as certain legal requirements have not yet been completed, however the police “will be putting a special emphasis” on preventing drinking and driving this weekend.

This follows after Government initially that “roadside sobriety checkpoints will be setup at strategic locations throughout the weekend. Over the next few days, in accordance with the Road Traffic [Road Sobriety Checkpoints] 2018, the location of these checkpoints will be made available to the public. The public is asked to be prepared for these stops.”

The new legislation, which recently passed in Parliament, “makes provision for the Senior Magistrate to authorize the police to conduct road sobriety checkpoints to stop all vehicles travelling through an authorized, predetermined location to check whether the driver is impaired.”

Speaking at yesterday’s press conference, Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said, “The roadside sobriety, there are some legal hurdles that we did not jump in time for Cup Match. We believe that we will have all of the requisite legal requirements completed within the next two weeks.

“As you know, the legislation recently passed Parliament; it then had to go through the Senate; then the instruments, we have the breathalyzer devices, and so we are literally going through the administrative pieces to allow this matter to be handled in the public.

“As much as we want to have the roadside sobriety testing initiated this weekend – and we all did – we also operate under a constitution and under a legal framework, and so what we did not want to do is jeopardize any civil rights, or, indeed, be found afoul of the law, so we made a decision not to commence with the actual roadside sobriety official testing, but as – and Assistant Commissioner Weeks will go through that specifically to highlight what we will be doing and the legal mechanism that we will be using to initiate this.”

Video extract of the press conference:

Assistant Commissioner Martin Weekes said, “Today is the day that it comes into commencement; unfortunately the way the legislation is written, we have to gazette all the positions where we will be doing them for five days, and so that puts it outside of the Cup Match weekend.

“That said, we will be sending a letter this week to the Senior Magistrate seeking authorization to commence the actual checks, the roadside checkpoints, over the next couple of weeks, so you can expect to hear that from us in the near future.

“This weekend, however, as I said in my remarks, we will be putting a special emphasis on drinking and driving generally.

“While we might not be doing the road checks as you might think they would look, where we would have it done the same way we do in other jurisdictions, we will be stopping cars, we will be running other types of stops, and if the evidence is there that allows us to believe that you have reasonable probable cause that you’ve got excess alcohol, you will be arrested.

“So we will be actively looking to arrest people for driving whilst impaired and with excess alcohol in the blood.”

Update 3.43pm: Shadow Minister of National Security Michael Dunkley said, “The OBA understands this is a bitter pill to swallow in that the PLP Government could not make their self imposed deadline of Cup Match for the implementation of roadside sobriety check points and it means that a ‘promise made has not been a promise kept.”

“With the Act only being gazetted this week it was clear the commitment by the PLP would not be met. However we understand the varied challenges with this type of legislation and it is best to ensure that this, and any legislation, is enacted correctly or issues will arise to the detriment of the intended law and people we serve.”


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Comments (12)

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  1. Bombey says:

    Can someone please tell me how this has happened? Isn’t Caines a lawyer….maybe read the legislation before you promise it….oh deary me. Nothing surprises me about this island anymore…..sheer incompetence.

  2. aceboy says:

    Legal hurdles. Like sending in an advert in the required time frame? Bone idle.

  3. puzzled says:

    The right hand don’t know what the left has or has not done.

    Safe Cup Match

  4. facts of the rock says:

    Zero tolerance means ZERO,
    just like NO means NO!

  5. Perhaps they just fell asleep says:

    That’s more likely–when they awoke from their paid slumber–they realized the deadline was past–oops–who cares anyway–no one is held accountble for their inaction around here–

    Who needs those pesky sobriety checkpoints anyway–

    your tax dollars being spentto fund our sleeping beauties!


  6. Boston baked bean says:

    And you felt it necessary to give everyone a heads up just before the weekend? Unbelievable. Why ???

    • JohnBoy says:

      Exactly! Why tell everyone – just don’t have it. Silly!!

      • shrew says:

        because their “base” told them it was not a good idea to do it over CM. the PLP care not about public safety and only photo ops.

  7. Trump deporter says:

    Legal hurdle means there no way it would’ve been passed before cup match. All the circles are starting to collide.

  8. Just a suggestion says:

    Lets be straight up from the starting line. The idea of roadside testing is great. But look at the wording very carefully.

    It states:
    All vehicles passing through a checkpoint. This was the terminology used.

    There is no exceptions applied in this act. Astonishingly this Act applies to emergency vehicles on blues also bus services. Tourist rentals and yeah you guessed it, all of us.

    Does BPS have manpower to hold persons for a certain time without caution. Check the law people. Without a caution you can not be held. This is ransom oh and illegal.

    There is also no facility set up as of now 8.2.18 to calibrate this device.

    Im all for roadside testing but what this is, is a negligent attempt to pull money.

  9. I don’t mind…not at all…one thing though….please utilise common sense and do it in a lay by so as not to slow traffic.
    Commerce is money and traverse is commerce.
    Thank you.

  10. Bullwinkle T. Mooseknuckle says:

    You know…a dash cam with time day and date is good as proof of suspicion and reason for engagement of said stoppage.
    Hurdle?…what hurdles?…I doneeed no stinking hurdles…