DWI roadblocks and checkpoints in Texas are becoming a thing of the past. Find out the role that Richard Tex McConathy played in standing up for Texans against these obtrusive and time consuming vehicle stops.
In the state of Texas, roadblocks and checkpoints are no longer in existence. One of the key components or reasons for that is because of my family. Richard “Tex” McConathy, or Big Tex as they like to call him, my father was the lead attorney on the case Higbee vs the state in the 1980’s. My father argued that after one of these clients was stuck in a checkpoint and was held there for almost an hour, that this was outside the scope of the police department, and that not only did they violate my father’s client’s rights, but they violated the rights of everyone else that was stopped in that checkpoint and delayed in going home. After arguing that for three years and losing twice in the courts going up, He finally had the court of criminal appeals agree with him, changing the law and making him a legend in the law community and also an enemy with every district attorney’s office from here all the way down to Brownsville. After the ruling of Higbee vs the state, it was ruled that a checkpoint, as currently prescribed by the police departments, were unconstitutional. However, the court did give them an exception to the police departments. They’re going to have to inform the general public of where they’re going to place the roadblocks, and they have to be least intrusive as possible. But, considering the difficulty of having that done, and once you publish where a roadblock is going to be, everyone’s just going to drive around it. Most departments don’t do that. So that’s why you see checkpoints in other states, but not in the great state of Texas.