Sobriety Checkpoints....


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Jim Diver
June 18, 2005, 02:45 AM
I was stopped at a DUI check point tonight. I am saddened that these things exist.

I just refused to say anything and handed over my reg, license, and proof of insurance. He asked a few questions which I refused to answer and let me move on.

How do you handle these things? Is it just me or does it resemble Nazi Germany and the old USSR?

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beerslurpy
June 18, 2005, 02:51 AM
Wow you can refuse to answer the questions? And he let you go?

rick_reno
June 18, 2005, 02:53 AM
The Supreme Court decided they're legal - the Court overlooked the Constitution, focusing instead on the drunk driving problem: "No one can seriously dispute the magnitude of the drunken driving problem or the States' interest in eradicating it....the weight bearing on the other scale—the measure of the intrusion on motorists stopped briefly at sobriety checkpoints—is slight." Wait a few years, they'll have DNA checks using the same criteria.

Crosshair
June 18, 2005, 03:10 AM
Speak in a heavy soviet accent, It will anoy them, but they can't get you on anything since you are cooperating with them. :evil: I've had quite a few get the joke. One even said he was ashamed to do the checkpoint, he felt like a stormtrooper.

Sindawe
June 18, 2005, 03:14 AM
Speak in a heavy soviet accent Wish I could do accents....but I can pass for true blood Aryan. Maybe time to brush up on the German. :evil:

beerslurpy
June 18, 2005, 03:14 AM
In Soviet Russia, cop confesses to you!

yorec
June 18, 2005, 04:13 AM
Soviet accent - all affirmative answers are "Da," and negatives are "Nyet." Pretty simple - throw a "comrade" or two in and you're good to go... At lest enough to get the point across, eh comrade? :scrutiny:

peacefuljeffrey
June 18, 2005, 06:00 AM
I like the fact that you refused to answer the questions. You shouldn't have to answer questions when you have not given probable cause for the police to believe you have committed a crime (and of course, you can't be compelled to talk even if you HAVE committed a crime).

The existence of this policy -- and the Supreme Court's endorsement of it -- is SICK.

Imagine how much better the world would be if people of conscience REFUSED to do things that are morally or ethically wrong EVEN IF their bosses order them to do it. Imagine if cops refused to do such things because they know they're a violation of our rights! That cop who admitted feeling like a stormtrooper is a coward. And if not a coward, he is at least part of the problem, because whether he believes in the policy or not, he is still perpetuating the reality of it.

I have never been stopped at one. If I ever am, I guess I will do as Jim did, and provide the documents but refuse to say anything.

-Jeffrey

ZenMasterJG
June 18, 2005, 06:08 AM
if i remember correctly they cant even force you to stop at those things. 'course, you blow through it, thats probably probable cause, endangerment, obstruction, and why not, throw disturbing the peace in there too.
you done right, dont piss 'em off, but dont let 'em take your for a ride either
(sorry THR LEO's! i respect you and the work you do, and thank you for it, but i've been hassled by a LOT of cops for minding my own buisness, probably cuz im young and tend toward punk-style clothes.)

Matthew748
June 18, 2005, 06:28 AM
I have never been stopped at a sobriety check point. I am against drunk drivers big time, but this whole check point system strikes me as un-American and creepy.

hifi
June 18, 2005, 06:41 AM
I went through one once. I was ready to give them a piece of my mind, but I don't think I ever came to a complete stop. It was pretty much "Hi" and wave you on by....vroom...I could sense the embarrassment on the policeman's face so I just let it go at that.

scubie02
June 18, 2005, 08:10 AM
the ones where they are checking your registration and inspection stickers are almost worse in my mind, since you know damned well in those instances its all about the money. But the sobriety ones are bad too. You think these are bad, wait until they get the national ID's and put in the general checkpoints--these have already been proposed. A de facto national ID will be in place with the "standardized State Licenses".

dave3006
June 18, 2005, 08:28 AM
I like the accent idea.

The people who think this country is free make me laugh.

El Tejon
June 18, 2005, 09:00 AM
"Actung, dave0sex, vee vill ask der questionen!" :D

yorec, that's tovarish, tovarish. :D

Strings
June 18, 2005, 10:51 AM
To add to the fun, you used to be able to pick up KGB badges and holders. Be just the thing to keep your liscense in, wouldn't it? :evil:

Shweboner
June 18, 2005, 12:13 PM
Something I just thought of...

Anyone who get the shotgun news has seen that place with the 8 page ads for older/antique sutff you know the one with all of the illustrations...

Ive seen them selling old Soviet Communist Party ID's, the look ike passports and have some poor bastards picture and info in there. Thye looked pretty neat, IIRC they were only like $10

THat would be funny to hand over to a cop anytime they hassle you unnecessarily, ie a checkpoint. :D

Chipperman
June 18, 2005, 12:22 PM
I've only been stopped at one, about 6 years ago. It was in rural PA at about 1 AM.
The officer just shined a light on my eyes and asked if I'd had anything to drink.
I said, "No Sir."
He waved me through. No papers were shown.

Azrael256
June 18, 2005, 12:23 PM
THat would be funny to hand over to a cop anytime they hassle you unnecessarily, ie a checkpoint. And if you know somebody who does any kind of printing and restoration work, you could probably get one made up with your information in it.

Is it considered forging an ID if you print up an obsolete ID from a foreign intelligence service? Ok, so maybe it's not such a great idea... well, it might be fun as a novelty. DHS or somesuch might not be too thrilled about it. Probably best that you don't. It's funny to think about, though.

I got stopped at new years one time. Ok, three times, actually. I hit three separate checkpoints. I guess they were looking for people who were seriously trashed (and I'm sure they found more than a few), so my one beer five hours (and a meal) before just didn't rate. I didn't even come to a full stop. I did have a Sheriff's deputy tail me for about a mile. I guess I wasn't interesting, because he stoped to nail two idiots tossing fireworks into a field. The whole thing struck me as silly. I didn't see anybody stopped at the checkpoint, but the deputy who was out patroling like he's supposed to actually caught somebody comitting a crime. Go figure.

rick_reno
June 18, 2005, 12:27 PM
Don't do what I did once at the ********** entry checkpoint - I pulled my left sleeve up and said "Hang on, I've got the required entry tattoo right here". They pulled me over and went thru my car looking for fruit. They don't have a sense of humor.
When I lived in Switzerland I'd get stopped once a month on my bicycle by a kid with a machine pistol hung around his neck. He'd ask for my papers (we were required to carry papers) and then he'd check my bike license, bell and brakes, which were required to operate a bike in heaven. I'm well versed in living in a police state - Bush and company can't bring it on fast enough to satisfy me.

slzy
June 18, 2005, 12:39 PM
went thru one of these recently,did not have to slow down,but they had several people pulled over going the other way,about 1/2 mile down the road sat a motorcycle policeman on the side of the road people were pulled over on.he must have been radioing ahead who to stop.

thorn726
June 18, 2005, 02:08 PM
ive been thru a few of these things.
it is a lttle odd to have them "make sure" i got a motorcycle license, but overall , ehh- its not really a stop, and really how much different is it than a toll booth.

i dont see driving as a right with all the money that has to be spent to put roads down, enforce/ regulate traffic, on and on.
Drunk drivers scare me.
once you get behind the wheel , you lose a bunch of rights, just like when you get on an airplane, and cars use more public funds than planes do i think.
enough of us prefer to be safe (remove drunks) that the majority approves of this practice, nazi as it may seem


Don't do what I did once at the ********** entry checkpoint - I pulled my left sleeve up and said "Hang on, I've got the required entry tattoo right here". They pulled me over and went thru my car looking for fruit. They don't have a sense of humor.

HA! says you! TWo of them (we got rerouted by snow) told us this-
1st one- come on share yer buds, all i do is blow joints and wave cars!!
2nd, a bit north entry point after we ask road conditions-
"well, its a bit icy, i wouldnt smoke any GREeen Buds on the road!"
guess you gotta BE Cali to get in safely!

Standing Wolf
June 18, 2005, 02:20 PM
Wait a few years, they'll have DNA checks using the same criteria.

I wish I could laugh at that.

Nicky Santoro
June 18, 2005, 02:36 PM
I just hand over the requisite paperwork and answer any questions in German. I don't drink so I am obviously sober. Since the dumb bastards can't figure out what is going on, I just get waved through.

Coronach
June 18, 2005, 02:53 PM
This is a mostly-unnoticed part of this:Wow you can refuse to answer the questions? And he let you go?Yup. You can also decline consent to search, etc. This is the traffic-stop equivalent of calling a bluff. Despite the papers, bitte flavor of the whole affair (and I thoroughly agree. I detest checkpoints), we're still not that far down the road.

Mike

beerslurpy
June 18, 2005, 03:58 PM
Ive seen them selling old Soviet Communist Party ID's, the look ike passports and have some poor bastards picture and info in there. Thye looked pretty neat, IIRC they were only like $10

I bet you that the machines that made that badge are sitting in a warehouse somewhere.

Vernal45
June 18, 2005, 04:02 PM
I dont like the concept that I have to PROVE that I am not drunk. Mind you, I would be driving to my destination, get stopped in the check point, asked questions that are no ones business, then let go. Sounds like fishing to me.

odysseus
June 18, 2005, 04:09 PM
Ihr papiere gefallen...

I have not been stopped by one of these yet, though I have seen them in use. I too would of course have to obliged, but they would know exactly where I stand on it. Wouldn't be a friendly discussion.

These stops are examples of minimizing citizens rights to look to grab a minority of offendors. We gave up rights becuase of a bunch of a**holes who drive drunk. Yeah, that doesn't sound like a good direction in policy.

centac
June 18, 2005, 04:23 PM
"We gave up rights becuase of a bunch of a**holes who drive drunk."

Specifically which rights have you given up at a sobriety checkpoint? Driving a car isnt listed in the BOR.

Maybe if fewer "A**holes" drove drunk we wouldnt be having this conversation.

Y'all arent big believers in the social contract, are ya?

beerslurpy
June 18, 2005, 04:30 PM
Erecting roadblocks is a situation designed to systematically detain and interrogate people despite no evidence of wrongdoing.

Isnt there a common law right to travel without being waylaid and also a general right to not be bothered by the police unless you are doing something obviously wrong like causing accidents?

odysseus
June 18, 2005, 04:31 PM
Specifically which rights have you given up at a sobriety checkpoint? Driving a car isnt listed in the BOR.

It's called the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution. Look it up.

Y'all arent big believers in the social contract, are ya?

Of course I am, but not in any movement that is in the direction of a police-state. My right to drive is one thing. My right to search and seizure is another. Don't know why that is difficult for some to understand.

Centac,

That's cool on your opinion. Wish this was more of a conversation, since writing back and forth here isn't going to cut it. However seeing discussions you are in on other topics here on THR - I am not going to get into a pissing match on this with you. We agree to disagree.

Biker
June 18, 2005, 04:32 PM
Too much coffee Centac?
Biker

GRB
June 18, 2005, 05:07 PM
Police have been legally allowed to set up checkpoints to randomly target any driver ever since I was a young child and probably longer. They have been allowed to obligate you to answer questions about driving under the influence and obligate you to take field sobriety tests for quite some time too. To equate this the either the USSR or to Nazi Germany is absolutely disgusting as I see it, thats my opinion. I have known quite a few people who lived through the ordeals of Nazi germany both as victims of the Nazis and others as German citizens. I do not think they would agree with you for a moment that these checkpoints are like what the Nazis did, or that the reasons for them are similar to for what the Nazis may have used a checkpoint.

Please bear in mind that when you are driving you are performing a privilege not a right. Your driver's license comes with conditions. These are often enforced by way of police at police check points. You have no constitutional right to drive a otor vehicle and the police have every right to stop you randomly at police checkpoints. Funny how any people moan and groan (and compar our country to Nazi Germany, the USSR or other true tyrannies) about the police or the state violating their rights, while at the same time forgetting the states and the even the federal government have rights too.

Jim Diver
June 18, 2005, 05:07 PM
Maybe if fewer "A**holes" drove drunk we wouldnt be having this conversation.

But the fact is that road blocks are no where near as effective as having the same resources out patroling the roads. Roadblocks pick up very few drunks. Its more an opportunity to harass the law abiding citizen...

The police love to report how grateful the citizens are and how motorists appreciate the presence of roadblocks, and how they complement the officers on "being out there and protecting us from the menace of drunk drivers." So what? The Jews in Germany probably said "Thank you!" when they were asked "Papers please!".

centac
June 18, 2005, 05:13 PM
"It's called the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution. Look it up."

Not exactly. SCOTUS held in
Carroll that motor vehicles have a lessened expectation of privacy and were not held to the same standards as dwellings. Also the plain view doctrine applies. As a earlier poster pointed out, the Supremes have already held that randomized checkpoints are Constitutional. Furthermore, these checkpoints take place on public roadways, and typically there is prior notice given, either by sign or PSA, so there is implied consent in traveling to the checkpoint itself.

Therefore it isnt a 4th Amendment issue, so which rights are they again? Please enlighten me.

GRB
June 18, 2005, 05:25 PM
Isnt there a common law right to travel without being waylaid and also a general right to not be bothered by the police unless you are doing something obviously wrong like causing accidents?So please be so kind as to: 1) enlighten us as to where this law is mentioned in legal journals or upheld by the courts, and 2: show the decision where it was upheld as overiding the right of the state to use checkpoints.

Oh one more thing: 3): Tell me how you equate a police checkpoint with being waylaid?

Just for your information you have no right for the police not to "bother" you if by bother you you mean they cannot stop you for a police checkpoint in a random stop. If are performing their duties they may stop you at random for checkpoints, and they may stop you to question you at random (such as to seek out witnesses), they may stop you to provide information or warnings to the public (such as telling you a street is closed), they can stop you for other things too.

I am always up for learning more about the law. Sometimes it surprises me to learn a new right or of an old one that I had not known about, this I think would be one of those times.

Best regards,
Glenn B

Deavis
June 18, 2005, 05:27 PM
i dont see driving as a right with all the money that has to be spent to put roads down, enforce/ regulate traffic, on and on.

So, would you say that you should be forced to stop at side-walk check-points? Sidewalks are often paid for by public funds. Walking on the sidewalk in front of your house, bingo, time to stop, and ID yourself. Public funds, public place (the sidewalk), no right to walk in the Constitution?

Drunk drivers scare me.

Give me a break. You are scared of drunk drivers when there are thousands of other accident prone people who are more likely to end your life than a drunk driver? Let's be specific here, there have been studies proving that people using cell phones are more dangerous than drunk drivers. Why not a cell-phone checkpoint? In addition, most drunk driving accidents (study was cited on Fox News I'd have to go search for it) are caused by people well over the legal limit. Not like .09 but more like .2. MADD and all their hysterical BS has criminalized people who drink socially and drive in many places without public transportation.

I'm not saying I support drinking and driving but acting like drunk driving is the greatest sin in the world that a driver can commit is ridiculous. You want to talk about people getting killed, let's talk about drivers who run red lights or who fall asleep at the wheel.

once you get behind the wheel , you lose a bunch of rights, just like when you get on an airplane, and cars use more public funds than planes do i think. enough of us prefer to be safe (remove drunks) that the majority approves of this practice, nazi as it may seem

You would rather force everyone to submit to checkpoints for sobriety just so you can feel a little bit better driving? New flash, no matter how hard you try, you aren't going to make it out of this life alive so why inconvenience everyone else because you don't know how to properly manage risk?

In the same vein, Texas is currently spending billions of dollars to create divided highways to keep people from falling asleep, crossing the dividing line, and killing oncoming motorists. It is really sad to die that way, but they are spending billions of dollars to stop somewhere in the neighborhood of ~100 deaths. I'm sorry, but very few people are worth that much money. If it saves one life and makes it just a little safer :rolleyes:

centac
June 18, 2005, 05:32 PM
"But the fact is that road blocks are no where near as effective as having the same resources out patroling the roads. Roadblocks pick up very few drunks. Its more an opportunity to harass the law abiding citizen..."

Please cite the source for this, I'd love to have it. Empirical evidence would seem to indicate that the checkpoints are a more reliable producer of DUI arrests that random patrol. They may not result in more arrests, but typically at least a minimal number of arrests are assured, which cannot be said of random patrol

odysseus
June 18, 2005, 05:35 PM
Poliuce have been legally allowed to set up checkpoints to randomly target any driver ever since I was a young child and probably longer. They have been allowed to obligate you to answer questions about driving under the influence and obligate you to take field sobriety tests for quite some time too. To equate this the either the USSR or to Nazi Germany is absolutely disgusting as I see it. I have known quite a few people who lived through the ordeals of Nazi germany both as victims of the Nazis and others as German citizens. I do not think they would agree with you for a moment that these checkpoints are liike anything of the bottom line of what the Nazis did, or that they are used for whatv a Nazi checkpoint would have been used as.

You say police legally have been able to, but not without much argument by people; enough to warrant the Supreme Court to examine it. Police checkpoints often were used when a crime had occured or a known issue was abound to control a size of people during a event. Setting up a checkpoint in everyday USA to then interrogate people for something they have no probable cause for is conterversial. Maybe not for you, but for many it is and for good reason. In fact like some others have said here too, I have known LE officers who don't like them either. So this is not the closed case you make it sounds as.

You say comparisons with Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia are disgusting. I would tend to agree that they are extreme, and any comparison to the great tragedies of those regimes would be a mockery. There is no direct connection between this finite issue and those large tragedies. However I would take you up on what you seem to be saying, that there is no place for it. It is any movement against liberties that we have constitutionally protected that brings up these fears, and for good reason. Liberties are fragile, and over time people begin to forget the next law after next law that moves against them. Regarding the 4th Amendment, it is just as important as many here on this board feel about the 2nd Amendment. To make mention of police-states by people (myself included here) is to point to history on what direction to not go in. Is it debatable? Most certainly.

I too know people who went through, escaped, or immigrated from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. I know that some feel these road stops are an overstep into our liberties here, just for drunk driving cases. Education and strong laws prevent DUI's, not blocking traffic in surburia to "inspect" every driver.

Yes - to say that sobriety checkpoints are related like to the Holocaust, well I hope no one here is actually trying to do that.

beerslurpy
June 18, 2005, 05:38 PM
I'm sure its all very legal to set up the roadblocks, but I feel it is MORALLY WRONG to permit the police to do so because it facilitates other abuses, as I'm sure centac would demonstrate if you ever ran into him.

I personally dont drive drunk, but I resent that the police are putting their noses into people's business without any probable cause. Next thing you know, someone decides he sees a coffee can in the back seat and you have thousands of dollars in legal fees. Is this likely to happen to a middle class white male? Not really. How about a 20 something with long hair driving a 15 year old civic? Got my car searched a lot back then.

Unrelatedly:
The state doenst have a "right" to establish roadblocks. The state chose to exercise its power and the supreme court (IMO wrongly) decided that particular exercise didnt violate the rights of citizens. They could rebalance it later or decide a different case differently if they so wished.

I dont know about your neighborhood, but the radio stations around here alert listeners to roadblocks as they are happening, as opposed to the police publishing a footnote in a local paper a month before the fact. That truly is implied consent.

2nd Amendment
June 18, 2005, 05:47 PM
Y'all arent big believers in the social contract, are ya?

Absolutely and emphatically not. I've never been big on fantasy.

Beren
June 18, 2005, 05:57 PM
while at the same time forgetting the states and the even the federal government have rights too.

Um, no, they don't.

They have Powers, not Rights.

...

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

...

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

answerguy
June 18, 2005, 06:17 PM
Do we all agree that there should be speed limits? What they should be on specific roads could be open for debate but in general I think we can agree
that there should be an upper limit on how fast we can drive. And then can we agree that police are proper in enforcing those speed limits? Given that, do we agree that police using radar is a fair and lawful way to monitor (and ticket) speeders?

I think we also agree that people should not be driving while impaired with alcohol. The arguement is what BAC level is proper and how to go about finding those who are over the limit.

Now what if they could develop a sensor that could detect alcohol blood levels as cars went by on the highway.

Do you think this would this be a reasonable enforcement tool?

Derek Zeanah
June 18, 2005, 06:20 PM
I think the complaint of many posters here is that you no longer have the right to travel unmolested. You can't in your car. You can't on a plane. If you live your life so that you can get everywhere on a bicycle, can you do so without worry of these sorts of searches, or is use of the public roads consent to be stopped?

Hell, if you can organize your life such that you have no need of transportation in your day-to-day life, you can still be stopped while walking somewhere without cause, and the cop can frisk you "for his safety and yours" in the process.

Does anyone think the founders saw a need to enumerate the "right to travel without being hassled by government officials" in the bill of rights? Who would have thought it would get to this?

"Tough -- it's not specifically listed as a protected right, therefore it doesn't exist." That's a sickening point of view to take, to be honest.

Vernal45
June 18, 2005, 06:24 PM
^ What he said.

centac
June 18, 2005, 06:28 PM
So now you want the BOR to be liberally interpreted, oh, except for the 2nd amendment.

Ya cant have it both ways, life aint a free ride.

Vernal45
June 18, 2005, 06:30 PM
So now you want the BOR to be liberally interpreted, oh, except for the 2nd amendment.


NO, we want cops to do their jobs, not line people up like cattle and hope to snag a few who are drunk.

centac
June 18, 2005, 06:32 PM
Vernal

Feel free to walk,

Oh, and is that the job you decided not to do?

2nd Amendment
June 18, 2005, 06:44 PM
No, centac, I'll feel free to drive sans license again, as I did for many years in the past. You and yours never managed to catch me before...

Do we all agree that there should be speed limits? What they should be on specific roads could be open for debate but in general I think we can agree
that there should be an upper limit on how fast we can drive.

Not really, no. I believe training should be better and requirements higher to receive a license. Once requirements are met the government should bugger off.

And then can we agree that police are proper in enforcing those speed limits?

No, I question the validity of speed limits in most situations and believe that any traffic enforcement should be handled by a specific force with no other duties. "Police" should not be involved in traffic enforcement at all, since it is essentially nothing but a revenue generator AND leaves a bad taste in people's mouthes re, LEO's.

Now what if they could develop a sensor that could detect alcohol blood levels as cars went by on the highway.

Emphatically not. No level of technology would ever be able to tell if you were reading the driver or the passenger or the empty bottle in the back hatch. Also, there's too much intrusive scanning(read ANY) going on already.

Derek Zeanah
June 18, 2005, 07:39 PM
So now you want the BOR to be liberally interpreted, oh, except for the 2nd amendment.

Ya cant have it both ways, life aint a free ride.It must be nice when you can group everyone who disagrees with you into one mindset -- as proponents of the same arguments.

Here's my take on "non-enumerated rights:" I have the right to marry who I want, and procreate with whoever I choose. "******s don't make good parents, so you can't marry that ****** woman" is offensive and wrong, and I would have ignored such a "law" if it existed in the early part of the last century in the South where I live. Remember though: "if it's not enumerated, it's not a right."
I have the right to own property, and to amass wealth. If I were female, I'd have the same right. This right wasn't acknowledged in the beginning of the country (that's where George got his wealth -- once he married Martha it was his), but the unwillingness of the powers that be to acknowledge a right in no way nullifies it. Rights are rights, whether the government "allows" them or not.
I have the right to worship God/The Infinite as I see fit. I don't care if I call myself a Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Wiccan, Satanist, Zoroastrian, Man Of Science, Scientologist, Consumer, or anything else -- it's my right to pursue my own sense of spirituality regardless of popular thought. This one happens to be enumerated in the 1st amendment to the constitution, but even if it weren't the Nazis and the Spaniards in the 15th century were wrong to deny that right.
I have a right to decide what I consume. If I want to eat ice cream, or smoke tobacco, or grow poppies for medicinal and entertainment use, that's my business. No-one has the right to tell me what I can and can't do with my body. It's mine.
I have the right to travel, period. I have the right to walk/bike/crawl/swim/drive/hop/fly wherever I want, provided my travel isn't in conflict with anyone else's rights. I don't need "government permission" to do so in any moral sense. The argument that I'm using "government roads" is crap -- I'm part of the population that the roads were purchased for in the first place, often through the use of immenent domain to seize them.Basically, I'm of the opinion that I should be able to live my life as I see fit, without any interference whatsoever, as long as I'm not infringing on the rights of others.

Does it harm anyone if I grow grapes in my back yard and make wine? What about brewing beer or distilling whiskey? What about growing pot, or mushrooms with hallucinagenic properties? How about opium poppies, or cultures of penicillin?

What if use of said pot is in order to help me reach particular states of consciousness, as Sufis have been using for centuries?

These are all rights that everyone has, whether they're acknowledged by the powers that be or not. You wanna criminalize them so I'll go to jail for breaking a law, but that doesn't make the law right.

Which brings us to the main point: Whether something is against the law or not is not a judgement as to whether it is/isn't a moral action. It's just a statement that those in power will punish those actions, even if they were morally correct and the law is morally bankrupt. Remember, it used to be illegal to help a slave escape captivity, and I don't believe that even our most outspoken "property rights" advocates would argue that that law was one that deserved any obedience whatsoever.

zahc
June 18, 2005, 07:51 PM
If you live your life so that you can get everywhere on a bicycle, can you do so without worry of these sorts of searches

HA! If you only knew. I have never been pulled over in a car, but the amount of hassle I have gotten from police while riding my bike is more than anyone deserves.

fjolnirsson
June 18, 2005, 08:16 PM
Whether something is against the law or not is not a judgement as to whether it is/isn't a moral action. It's just a statement that those in power will punish those actions, even if they were morally correct and the law is morally bankrupt.

Exactly.

Flyboy
June 18, 2005, 09:12 PM
Guess who:
Y'all arent big believers in the social contract, are ya?
Nope. Never signed the thing. My lawyer advised against it.
So now you want the BOR to be liberally interpreted, oh, except for the 2nd amendment.
Nope. I'd prefer literally. As in, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Merely driving is not PC to think I'm breaking the law.
Empirical evidence would seem to indicate that the checkpoints are a more reliable producer of DUI arrests that random patrol.
I don't doubt it. But arrests don't count. Convictions count. And not just any conviction--only legitimate convictions, free of coerced confessions, bogus "evidence," and "he had a coffee can!" probable cause.
"It's called the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution. Look it up."

Not exactly. SCOTUS held in
Carroll that motor vehicles have a lessened expectation of privacy and were not held to the same standards as dwellings.
Yup. And SCOTUS held in Dred Scott v. Sanford that blacks can be property, and in Plessy v. Ferguson that "separate but equal" was OK. Just because the Nine Tin Jesuses* say something doesn't make it so.

And, while we're on the subject of the courts, why don't you weigh in with your name, department, and badge number? I'd love to forward a few of your posts to criminal defense attorneys in your area. If you're right, and your actions are legal, you have nothing to worry about, right?

Beren +1
Derek Zeanah +1
*Judge Lerned Hand +1 for giving us such wonderful phrases to describe the High Court (I've used a few others elsewhere)

And my Russian accent is terrible, but I can do German, both language and accent, well enough to to annoy your average cop.

answerguy
June 18, 2005, 09:21 PM
Are you just being silly or trying to be argumentative?

Not really, no. I believe training should be better and requirements higher to receive a license. Once requirements are met the government should bugger off.

You want the government to have better and higher standards BEFORE giving out driver's licenses but then it's hands off and anything goes afterwards?

Would it be OK with you if I drove past your house at 90 MPH while waving my better and higher standard DL some day?

centac
June 18, 2005, 09:26 PM
"why don't you weigh in with your name, department, and badge number? I'd love to forward a few of your posts to criminal defense attorneys in your area. If you're right, and your actions are legal, you have nothing to worry about, right?"

Sport, the defense attorneys here dont need your help, they have plenty of clients who have tried amd lost. Darn straight I dont have anything to worry about, I have been thru more suppression hearings than I can count and they have all gone my way, but one. I had 6 pot plants suppressed when I went into a pole barn that was under construction without a warrant. The judge held that because it was enclosed on 3 sides it counted as a building and couldnt be claimed under plain view. Of course I got a warrant for the house that was on the same property and seized 20 pounds processed, and it was admitted, so I think that turned out OK. Other than that I have never had any evidence suppressed from any warrant, plain view or consent search I've done at any court level, local, appellate or fed. So please, all you experts on the subject, you'll find that I place a little more credence in what the judges have to say than what anonymous twits on the errornet spout. You tell me what a horrific job I'm doing, and I'll take it as worth the paper it is written on.

Ya see, for you arguing this stuff is a hobby, for me its a profession. As for identifying myself, yeah right, with the reactionary whackjobs here? I'd never heard the phrase "vote from the rooftops" until here, and y'all must be very proud. No thanks.

ReconTech
June 18, 2005, 09:30 PM
Its a very sad day when people are so narrow minded, and so anti-govt and anti-police on this board. :rolleyes:

Thats ok, I'm sure you guys never need anything in terms of public safety. Next time your involved in a bad injury accident, pull out the soviet papers and KGB insignia and hope it helps you survive, why bother calling big brother to help?

Jeff
June 18, 2005, 09:31 PM
I've also believed the "driving is a privilege" viewpoint to be totally wrong. There is no Golden Document anywhere that states it is a privilege. There is plenty of language in the Costitution and DOI, however, that strongly suggests such an activity could only be a right.

The right to move about freely includes driving a motor vehicle, much like other rights include specific examples for exercising it: the right to own an AR-15, and the right to express your freedom of speech on the Internet.

Checkpoints are unnecessary wastes of valuable resources that would be better spent finding actual criminals and solving actual crimes.

odysseus
June 18, 2005, 09:35 PM
Would it be OK with you if I drove past your house at 90 MPH while waving my better and higher standard DL some day?

This line of thought is a distraction from the discussion of the thread, IMO. Traffic laws and speeds go into the realm of driving rules, and licensing and operation of a vehicle. If I were speeding and driving an unsafe vehicle, I would be breaking rules I signed up to obey by getting a license to drive.

I will say it again, I don't know why this is hard to delineate for some. I see it clearly, and I disagree with the Supreme Court on this issue. Blocking free movement by creating roadblocks and stopping people on the street without probable cause to interrogate them, is an infringment on 4th Amendent rights. Even if the cause to catch DUI drivers is honerable, using these methods doesn't make it right.

The two are seperate. I don't have a "right" to drive. I do have my Constituational rights still if I am in a plane, train, automobile, bicycle, walking, wheelchairing, etc...

Yup. And SCOTUS held in Dred Scott v. Sanford that blacks can be property, and in Plessy v. Ferguson that "separate but equal" was OK

Thanks for bringing that out.

2nd Amendment
June 18, 2005, 09:39 PM
You want the government to have better and higher standards BEFORE giving out driver's licenses but then it's hands off and anything goes afterwards?

Would it be OK with you if I drove past your house at 90 MPH while waving my better and higher standard DL some day?

It's either a right or a privilege. If it's a right then the gooberment needs to get lost, period. If it's not a Right then why are we treating it as such, ie: Giving damn near every single person the "privilege" regardless of training or talent or capacity? If it's a privilege then properly train people and require proper ability. If done thus there's very little reason for speed limits or other regs outside congested areas. And, of course, there would be less congestion since there wouldn't be as many Yahoos on the road and those on the road would be better qualified to deal with it.

You all did say it's a privilege? Then treat it as such... Oh, but you don't like that? Everyone should have the "right", then we'll just dumb it down to the lowest common denominator and micro-manage it with plenty of LEO out there to supervise every half-wit with a license. OK, when you get some consistency to your views you all let me know...

And I don't care how fast you drive by my house. Why should I? What difference does it make to me? I am smart enough, as is every member of my family, to avoid you. I don't need laws or cops to keep me safe from you. In fact, people buzz down this road at 70 or so every single day. It's four or five miles of straight, paved, rural road. Law has nothing to do with it. And every so often one of them exits the gene pool due to speed and lack of talent/training/skill. If you're one of these you'll be gone soon enough and if not then I don't need to worry about you anyway, nor do you need "The Law" to manage you.

garyk/nm
June 18, 2005, 09:40 PM
Truth be told (oh lord, am I gonna get pimp-slapped for this one) I agree with Centac. I live in New Mexico, which has one of the (if not THE) highest rates of DUI in the Nation. I live in a small town, and one or two Saturday nights a month, the local LE's set up a roadblock for DUI. It is always in the same place, at the same time of day. They catch drunk drivers EVERY time they do this. How intelligent do you have to be to realize that driving through this area on a Saturday night has a good chance of getting you stopped? But still, they catch drunks EVERY TIME! As far as I am concerned (personal opinion only), KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! The safety of my family is more important to me that the inconvenience of having to "show papers" at a sobriety checkpoint.
If folks quit driving while under the influence, then we would have no need for such checkpoints. Is that going to happen? I don't think so. Until that happens, I am perfectly willing to "show papers" any time asked. (And thank those doing the job).

Let the slappin' begin.

odysseus
June 18, 2005, 09:46 PM
As far as I am concerned (personal opinion only), KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! The safety of my family is more important to me that the inconvenience of having to "show papers" at a sobriety checkpoint.

Ok, I know this is a can-o-worms - but let's follow the logic then. So imagine then now that you have meth labs in your area. It's a real problem in your community. You cool with then having LE knock on your door and say they are going to inspect your home for meth and meth equipment? Not too much of an inconvenience right? I mean, you are not guilty of it so what's the problem? :rolleyes:

2nd Amendment
June 18, 2005, 09:55 PM
The safety of my family is more important to me that the inconvenience of having to "show papers" at a sobriety checkpoint.

*shudder*

So at what point do your rights and privacy become more important than this false sense of security represented by the police state?

odysseus
June 18, 2005, 10:02 PM
Its a very sad day when people are so narrow minded, and so anti-govt and anti-police on this board.

Thats ok, I'm sure you guys never need anything in terms of public safety. Next time your involved in a bad injury accident, pull out the soviet papers and KGB insignia and hope it helps you survive, why bother calling big brother to help?

I do see some pretty inflammatory speech here in regards to that (and I too don't like it), but why is it that this sounds like no discussion can be made without some point be made to just throw it all out the window?

Hey - my opinion can change and be formed by good discussion. That's why i am here.

Not sure what you mean by the KGB insignia.

I pay my taxes, and I vote. Sorry but having a strict Constitutional opinion on this doesn't mean I don't want goverment.

Onmilo
June 18, 2005, 10:14 PM
Like a speedtrap in a small town, sobriety checkpoints are all about money.
Money spent to run them and money that the checkpoint brings in.
If the checkpoints aren't cost effective they go away,,,,

stevelyn
June 18, 2005, 11:18 PM
The sobriety checkpoints are just a lazy way to get around having to justify the stop. It eliminates the need for the arresting officer to articulate in the report (and court) that the driver's actions were indicative of driving impaired warranting the stop.
You can bypass having to do police work by stopping everybody and having a driver submit to a FST and breath test if they exhibit any signs and symptoms of intoxication. Easy, quick, efficient and damn near defense attorney proof since the reason for the stop will never be questioned.
Unfortunately the Constitution is also bypassed when you set up these checkpoints. :mad:

Flyboy
June 18, 2005, 11:37 PM
You can bypass having to do police work by stopping everybody
Exactly.

This is the same philosophy that's behind "zero tolerance," specifically that of removing any thought or effort from the part of the person who is charged with enforcing the rules. By treating everybody the same--guilty--the enforcers don't have to engage in any rational thought or expend any effort on considering individuals. It's Just Another Thing Wrong with the leftist point of view: treating people according to their group membership, instead of as individuals. In the case of zero tolerance, the group is "people who committed any infraction of this rule, no matter how technical," and it's what gives us such BS actions as suspensions and drug charges for kids who keep their asthma inhalers on their persons because the time it takes to get the inhaler from the nurse's office could be the difference between life and death. In the case of checkpoints, the group is drivers, and we all see the BS we get: you're driving, so you have to prove that you're {sober, wearing a seatbelt, current on your vehicle taxes, carrying the right papers}. Heaven forbid some poor policeman actually have to articulate his probable cause by "Oath or affirmation."

Throw in the revenue-collection aspect, and you have yourself a leftist!

johnster999
June 19, 2005, 12:02 AM
Our country is configured for travel by automobile. Cities are built around this fact, along with most facilities within the cities. There are no horse and buggy parking facilities provided in the parking lot at the local courthouse or the grocery store. Virtually nothing is within walking distance anymore, as residential and commercial districts are widely seperated.

Our work schedules are built around the fact that an employee can be expected to arrive for work or travel to destinations in a short period of time via automobile. In most US cities, it's almost impossible to hold down a good job without the use of a car, as public transit is often unavailable.

The automobile is today's means of freely traveling within this country, and conducting one's personal or professional business in a free and productive way.

999

Art Eatman
June 19, 2005, 12:50 AM
No more bash-trash.

Art

suvdrvr
June 19, 2005, 01:00 AM
I can't believe no one posted yet that they are illegal in the state of Washington. We will not see a sobriety stop here thanks to WA State Article 1 section 7, this restricts the reach of gov't more than the 4th to the point that the gov't can't imped with out PC.

ksnecktieman
June 19, 2005, 01:18 AM
Back when god and I were young the US Army sent me to Germany as a young single soldier (I was seventeen, the year was 1967). When I find out there is NO SPEED limit on the Autobahn, I ask, "How can that be?" I find out from my "chain of command" and the soldiers that have been to Germany before that they do not restrain anyone from being stupid. But, they do punish stupidity. I am free to drive 150 KPH on the Autobahn, but if I cause an accident or let some one else involve me in one I will be severely punished. I think that is the way things should be. It worked then, and I think it will work now. Speed limits do not make us safer. Safer driving makes us safer. EXTREME punishment for causing an accident stops accidents. Speed limits make us mad at the police.

O.F.Fascist
June 19, 2005, 01:22 AM
Never been stopped at a Sobriety Checkpoint but I have gone through several border patrol checkpoints.

About a month ago me and two other friends went to Big Bend National Park to go camping. Going and coming we went through 4 Border Patrol checkpoints.

3 of them went fairly easy, the guys just asked "yall US citizens" we replied yes, and then he okay and waved us through.

The last ????er though was doing the whole 20 ????ing questions routine. Where are you coming from, how long were you there, where are you going, which I replied to by saying "home," then he said where no what city, and one of my friends said Corpus Christi, then he asked where do you work, and I told him but then the **** points at my two other friends and says "do you all work there. :rolleyes:

Anyways after that he then asks can I have a look in your trunk to which I reply "No." He gets the deer in the headlights look for about 10 seconds and then he says "No?" And I reply "No, Sir."

He then walks around around the car and knocks on the trunk presumable to see if there is anyone inside who responds.Then he walks around back torwards my driver window and then he finally asks us if we are all US citizens, we say yes and then he waves us through.

Plumber576
June 19, 2005, 01:25 AM
In Ohio, it's state law that they have to inform the public of where and when they are going to have the checkpoints. They are published in the papers...and people drive around them, rightfully so.

mons meg
June 19, 2005, 01:26 AM
As far as the effectiveness of these checkpoints versus "random patrol", why don't we choose neither of those options a stake out the "problem" bars so the drunk drivers don't have a chance to do any damage?

Background: My sister was killed in 1993 by a drunk driver who left a bar on the edge of town and wsa doing 65 or so when he blew through a stop sign and T-boned my sister's car. She had right of way.

Seems like there was more than one local cop who knew this particular place had a rep for folks wobbling out to their cars at 2am. I mean, when you fish for bass, you don't go out in the middle of the lake and trawl around...you go to their hidey holes. You would have all the PC you need if you *saw* someone tripping over their keys and creeping out into the street. :cuss:

O.F.Fascist
June 19, 2005, 01:29 AM
ReconTech,

Thats ok, I'm sure you guys never need anything in terms of public safety. Next time your involved in a bad injury accident, pull out the soviet papers and KGB insignia and hope it helps you survive, why bother calling big brother to help?

The Lord helps those that help themselves.

Tom Servo
June 19, 2005, 01:56 AM
Please bear in mind that when you are driving you are performing a privilege not a right. Your driver's license comes with conditions.
Agreed. Around these parts, they're not called sobriety checkpoints, they're "seatbelt checks." Which just happen to take place most often after midnight :)

I've got lifelong injuries from a drunk driver. Ironically, it happened while such checkpoints had been suspended over a lawsuit. Otherwise, the guy might have been stopped before he destroyed my left knee, hip, and car.

How they do it here isn't all that intrusive. You roll your window down and present license (which you agree to when you get the license in the first place). If the officer happens to smell something on you, or he notices the crack-pipe in your ashtray, well, that's PC. Since I'm not involved in those sorts of recreational activites, it's no problem for me; I just get thanked for my time and waved through. The process takes a few seconds of my oh-so-precious time.

Is there a possible civil-rights issue here? Perhaps, but it lies deeper in the actual question of having to get a "license" to drive in the first place, not in the checkpoints set up to enforce compliance. I've got meth labs and violent hillbilly bars in my neck of the woods, and I know that alot of those types get nabbed at the checkpoints at minimal to zero hardship to me, so I don't really see it as a tradeoff.

ksnecktieman
June 19, 2005, 01:58 AM
Mons? You have our sympathy and our condolences. It is a tragedy that a drunk can kill anyone. The question here is a little bit different.

The REAL question here is "Should ANY leo have permission to stop ANYONE, ANYWHERE, and ask them to PROVE sobriety or competency to drive"?

I say NO. Just because I am in my car at 02:00, (two AM) on a saturday night/sunday morning is not probable cause to pull me over to check for intoxication.

mons meg
June 19, 2005, 02:02 AM
No, I think the checkpoints are mostly worthless. The couple of drunks they may or may not nab at a checkpoint to me says they could have caught 5 or 6 by going to the actual source.

I've hit a checkpoint exacly twice, at the same intersection, and it was only a mile form my house. The first time was a "license and insurance check". um, right.

The second time, was an "escaped murderer from the Logan County lockup". Ok, ok, shine your light in my backseat, Sherriff. :)

Sir Aardvark
June 19, 2005, 02:29 AM
Recently, it has been decided by the courts to lawfully allow drug sniffing dogs to check out your vehicle at checkpoints and even parking lots for that matter.

Also, I recently read of a device about the size of a pocket pen that can pick up the alcohol on a person's breath about 1 foot away, My understanding is that a police officer can have this device in his shirt pocket and ask you questions, and the breath given off by you just answering his questions can show if you have been drinking or not.

What next???

Strings
June 19, 2005, 03:04 AM
Ok... I'm the one that suggested the KGB badge. And it was meant primarily as a JOKE. Some background...

When I was younger, and in the Nav (stationed at 32nd St, San Dog), I noticed an ad in SoF for "Soviet KGB ID kits". Complete with badge, holder, and paperwork. Asked one of the gate guards if they thought having my military ID in one would cause problems: guy just laughed. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the ad when payday rolled around...

Some of y'all need to lighten up. If a citizen wishes to make a political statement by handing over his liscense in a KGB badge holder, or with "papers" circa Nazi Germany, that's their right (believe it falls under "free speech")...

odysseus
June 19, 2005, 03:47 AM
Also, I recently read of a device about the size of a pocket pen that can pick up the alcohol on a person's breath about 1 foot away, My understanding is that a police officer can have this device in his shirt pocket and ask you questions, and the breath given off by you just answering his questions can show if you have been drinking or not.

Yes, it could be just that spearment gum you were chewing that has alcohol sugars in it that make it blip a little. But of course you are innocent until proven guilty, right? Nothing to worry about. :rolleyes:

Crosshair
June 19, 2005, 04:43 AM
Just take a swig of Mouthwash (Or those listerine Pocket packs) and watch that thing go crazy. :neener:

Byron Quick
June 19, 2005, 04:46 AM
Constitutional? According to the Supreme Court. Just remember...they have been known to mess up big doing that.

Legal. According to our legislatures. They also have a less than stellar record.

But when I look at government action; I have more questions that I ask: Is this a wise policy or procedure? Does its long term disadvantages outweigh the short term gains? And so forth.

Much of government policy and possibly a majority of the change in police policy and procedure over the last three decades fails to answer these questions in the affirmative.

Tell me centac, if police policy and procedure results in net gains for arrests and convictions and simultaneously increases the distrust of the police by the general public...do you truly believe this to be a good thing? Do you care? Or do you think that the commoners should eat cake? Might do to reflect on the fate of the person who originally said that.

thorn726
June 19, 2005, 04:56 AM
But of course you are innocent until proven guilty, right?

OK- you did get me there- that is the HUGE problem with roadblocks and DD enforcement in some states.

being ARRested for DUI/DWI is automatic licesnse suspension, which could be arbitrarily handed out , and it only takes a few days weithout a car for a poor person to lsoe their job etc.

i just hate drunk drivers.
Also - one person says the public roads paid for by the govt for the people-
except for one problem= enough voters agree they want the roadblocks.
mass groups dont show up at city council meetings demanding they stop.

if and when the DUI roadblocks begin to act like "'papers please" , folks will freak out and they will stop (maybe that is what heppened in WA)

as someone who is used to being treated harshly by the police for no reason-
ive been thru a few roadblocks and was never given a hard time at all.
one cop did verify i actually had a motorcycle license.

big deal.


The REAL question here is "Should ANY leo have permission to stop ANYONE, ANYWHERE, and ask them to PROVE sobriety or competency to drive"?

another good point. again i guess to me it is all about how it is implemented.
cops need oversight, and we cant let them get away with garbage.
it's a tough one. i REALLY dont want to get killed because you drank too much and couldnt decide for yourself not to drive.
WHICH - TO gUN owners should be really obvious.
you pack because of that one in a million chance someone might try to shoot you, realize you could also be the one in a few thousand that gets mowed down by a drunk.

SO- we need a better solution to keep drunks off the road, until then , as long as the blocks are not pulling in all kinds of random harrassment, i am for them

they nab more than a few drunks at these things, and mainly they are sending all drivers a warning that im sure helps=

especially since i often see the blocks at 9pm- on peoples way IN to the city. so they get a reminder. wHY? well obviously drunks have run over enough people to warrant this.

give me a better solution, and i'll support that instead. (and hiding inside or trading in my motorbike for a hummer are NOT solutions they are avoidance)

ravinraven
June 19, 2005, 06:46 AM
"I have never been stopped at a sobriety check point. I am against drunk drivers big time, but this whole check point system strikes me as un-American and creepy."

Right on!

More law IN YOUR FACE and money for the system. I'm against drunk driving and drunk boating and drunk loving. But the phony limit system is meant for buck busting and More Law In Your face. MLIYF.

There are LEOs who are ashamed of the part they are forced to play in these state operated scams, but they are hanging on for retirement and will be more scarce in the future. It takes a while to move a police force in a country such as we had into the KGB category, but it's going on as we pound our keyboards.

rr

answerguy
June 19, 2005, 08:45 AM
The REAL question here is "Should ANY leo have permission to stop ANYONE, ANYWHERE, and ask them to PROVE sobriety or competency to drive"?

I say NO. Just because I am in my car at 02:00, (two AM) on a saturday night/sunday morning is not probable cause to pull me over to check for intoxication.

So if a LEO has to have PC to pull a lone car going down the road why is it that they can pull everyone over without PC at a check point?

WayneConrad
June 19, 2005, 09:10 AM
Because an infringement is useful in some way does not make it right. In any case, the danger posed to all by a government wielding unrestricted power is far more than the dangers of drugs, drunk drivers, and Al Quaida.

The supreme court's rulings on constitutionality are what is law, not what is constitutional. They have spent 200 years wrecking the constitution. It's best to read the document itself and the numerous writings of the time explaining it, then decide for yourself. To let the government decide what it is OK for the government to do is insanity.

Just because something is not listed in the bill of rights does not mean it isn't a right: The enumeration in the Constituion, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Amendment IX. Despite the decisions of the courts, travel by automobile, being all but necessary to get along, is indeed a right, not a privilege.

DRZinn
June 19, 2005, 10:34 AM
once you get behind the wheel , you lose a bunch of rights, just like when you get on an airplaneReally? Kindly inform me which rights I lose .

Hawkmoon
June 19, 2005, 11:45 AM
Of course I am, but not in any movement that is in the direction of a police-state. My right to drive is one thing. My right to search and seizure is another. Don't know why that is difficult for some to understand.
You don't have a right to drive. You have a privilege to drive. In no state of this country can anyone legally drive without a motor vehicle operator's license. In most states, in accepting said license you agree to undergo field sobriety checks.

That established, I agree that roadblock checkpoints may violate the BOR. I say "may" because of that pesky word "unreasonable" in the article about searches. That's where the social contract comes in, and where the courts get to define what "reasonable" means. They have apparently held that a brief stop for the limited purpose of checking to see if there is obvious evidence that drivers are intoxicated is not unreasonable.

Fortunately (albeit sadly) the 2nd Amendment doesn't contain any of those "weasel words" such as "reasonable." The RKBA is supposed to be absolute.

Just don't go trying to elevate the privilege of operating a motor vehicle to the same level as the right to keep and bear arms.

Hawkmoon
June 19, 2005, 11:48 AM
Funny how any people moan and groan (and compar our country to Nazi Germany, the USSR or other true tyrannies) about the police or the state violating their rights, while at the same time forgetting the states and the even the federal government have rights too.
Sorry, Glenn. No gold star for you in Civics class today.

People have rights.

Government in the U.S. be it Federal or the various states, has powers.

Go back and re-read the Constitution. I don't think you will find any mention of the Federal government or the states having any "rights."

El Rojo
June 19, 2005, 12:01 PM
Interesting, I didn't realize there was such hostility towards sobriety checkpoints in the world. Just throw me into the "big deal" crowd. Gotta go back to class.

Vernal45
June 19, 2005, 12:10 PM
DUI Sobriety Checkpoints: Unconstitutional?

The Constitution of the United States pretty clearly says that police can’t just stop someone and conduct an investigation unless there are "articulable facts" indicating possible criminal activity. So how can they do exactly that with DUI roadblocks?

Good question. And it was raised in the case of Michigan v. Sitz (496 U.S. 444), in which the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed a decision of the Michigan Supreme Court striking down drunk driving roadblocks as unconstitutional. In a 6-3 decision, the Court reversed the Michigan court, holding that roadblocks were consitutionally permissible. Chief Justice Rehnquist began his majority opinion by admitting that DUI roadblocks (aka "sobriety checkpoints") do, in fact, constitute a "seizure" within the language of the 4th Amendment. In other words, yes, it’s a blatant violation of the Constitution. However....

However, it’s only a little one, and there’s all this "carnage" on the highways MADD tells us we’ve got to do something about. The "minimal intrusion on individual liberties", he wrote, must be "weighed" against the need for and effectiveness of roadblocks. In other words, the ends justify the (illegal) means....aka, "the DUI exception to the Constitution".

The dissenting justices pointed out that the Constitution doesn’t make exceptions: The sole question is whether the police had probable cause to stop the individual driver. As Justice Brennan wrote, "That stopping every car might make it easier to prevent drunken driving...is an insufficient justification for abandoning the requirement of individualized suspicion." Brennan concluded by noting that "The most disturbing aspect of the Court’s decision today is that it appears to give no weight to the citizen’s interest in freedom from suspicionless investigatory seizures".

Rehnquist’s justification for ignoring the Constitution rested on the assumption that DUI roadblocks were "necessary" and "effective". Are they? As Justice Stevens wrote in his own dissenting opinion, the Michigan court had already reviewed the statistics on DUI sobriety checkpoints/roadblocks: "The findings of the trial court, based on an extensive record and affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, indicate that the net effect of sobriety checkpoints on traffic safety is infinitesimal and possibly negative".

p.s. The case was sent back to the Michigan Supreme Court to change its decision accordingly. But the Michigan Supreme Court sidestepped Rehnquist by holding that DUI checkpoints, if permissible under the U.S. Constitution, were not permissible under the Michigan State Constitution, and ruled again in favor of the defendant -- in effect saying to Rehnquist, "If you won’t protect our citizens, we will". The State of Washington has since followed Michigan.

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on 10/17/2004 Discuss Trackback [3]

Vernal45
June 19, 2005, 12:15 PM
Checkpoints take away rights
By Travis Florio
Published: Friday, April 23, 2004
Article Tools:Email This ArticlePrint This Article Page 1 of 1

In 1990‚ the United States Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints in the case of Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz. The issue put before the court was if random checkpoints violated the Fourth and 14th Amendments.

If you haven't been lucky enough to go through a sobriety checkpoint‚ it goes something like this: You're driving along the road‚ minding your own business‚ when you come across a blockade of police officers and patrol cars.

Police stop your vehicle and ask you a few questions‚ all the while peeking in your front and back seat. The officers' main goal is to detect intoxication of the driver‚ but if any other illegal activity is detected - you're busted.

If the officers are suspicious‚ they may direct you to pull your car off to the side for further investigation. You may be given a field sobriety test‚ a Breathalyzer test and they may even request to search your vehicle.

This all can occur even if you have not been suspected of a single crime. The police don't even have reasonable suspicion to stop you.

Late for work? Too bad. Had a bad day and you just want to go home and relax? Too bad‚ you have to prove your innocence to the police first.

If the Fourth Amendment protects us from "unreasonable searches and seizures‚" then what are checkpoints? While the Supreme Court acknowledges that stopping cars at a checkpoint is a "seizure‚" the justices argue that it is not "unreasonable." By whose definition?

These random checkpoints differ from border checkpoints because they are exactly that - random. This unauthorized intrusion at night at an undisclosed location is not what the United States is all about. The freedom to travel without being harassed is vital to our liberty.

As the dissenting opinion in this case pointed out‚ "These random seizures are the hallmark of regimes far different from ours." Yeah‚ like Nazi Germany.

Why have checkpoints? Surely apprehending drunk drivers at these checkpoints is worth sacrificing some of our constitutionally guaranteed rights‚ right? Nope.

According to Justice John Paul Stevens‚ one of the dissenters‚ Maryland operated 125 checkpoints over several years. Of the 41‚000 motorists passing through the checkpoints‚ only 143 people were arrested. That is an arrest rate of less than 1 percent; it's only 0.3 percent.

With statistics that low‚ how many arrests could have been achieved if the officers working these checkpoints had been patrolling the streets‚ pulling over actual suspects?

The bottom line is our tax dollars are not paying the police to look for crimes where they have no expectation it will exist. I am not paying the police to question and search drivers randomly‚ including myself.

Sobriety checkpoints are unconstitutional‚ and the courts should overturn this abusive practice.

The rights guaranteed in our constitution must be upheld if we are to retain any freedom in the long run.


http://www.westerncourier.com/media/paper650/news/2004/04/23/Opinion/Checkpoints.Take.Away.Rights-670003.shtml

Supreme Leader
June 19, 2005, 02:26 PM
You don't have a right to drive. You have a privilege to drive. In no state of this country can anyone legally drive without a motor vehicle operator's license. In most states, in accepting said license you agree to undergo field sobriety checks.

Privilege or extortion?
In the early days of the automobile a license or registration was not needed. Anyone with enough money could buy one and drive wherever he could traverse. New York City came up with the vehicular license for revenue generation and it has down graded to the point it is today.

Jeff
June 19, 2005, 05:24 PM
You don't have a right to drive. You have a privilege to drive. In no state of this country can anyone legally drive without a motor vehicle operator's license.


Is this enough evidence that driving is a privilege and not a right? How come in the Constitution, under the 2nd Amendment, it says "the right to keep and bear arms...," yet most state governments require licensing/permits to carry a firearm, if they allow you to carry one at all?

So by your example, bearing arms is not a right, but a privilege.

Driving a motor vehicle is a right and NO ONE can prove otherwise.

thorn726
June 19, 2005, 05:25 PM
once you get behind the wheel , you lose a bunch of rights, just like when you get on an airplane

well right off the bat- you have to have papers to drive.

you are not legally required to carry id otherwise.

you are not legally able to get drunk. (i'd call it a right t oget drunk in your own home, that may be debatable)

police dont need a warrant to search, the rules are more lax than they are in your home.

Beethoven
June 19, 2005, 07:00 PM
Speak in a heavy soviet accent, It will anoy them, but they can't get you on anything since you are cooperating with them. I've had quite a few get the joke. One even said he was ashamed to do the checkpoint, he felt like a stormtrooper.


Hahahaha. That's funny!

You should have asked the officer if he seriously believes that "I was just following orders" is a valid defense.

The evil we must fear most is the failure of good men to act against evil.

Harry Paget Flashman
June 19, 2005, 09:03 PM
If you really want to catch drunk drivers watch people stagger out of bars at 1:00 A.M. and nab them when they start their engines. Sadly, catching a DUI and suspending his/her license doesn't mean they'll quit driving.

There is probably more likelihood of me getting killed on the highway by a drunk driver than getting killed by a gun. Let the government focus on creative and unobtrusive ways to catch DUI's and lighten up on guns.

R.H. Lee
June 19, 2005, 09:14 PM
I don't drink, all the lights work on my vehicles, my license, registration, and insurance are all current.

And yeah, no empty coffee cans in my vehicles.

I'm squeaky clean.

Chris Rhines
June 19, 2005, 09:20 PM
You don't have a right to drive. You have a privilege to drive. In no state of this country can anyone legally drive without a motor vehicle operator's license. Uh, no. Not even close. AFAIK, in all fifty states, a person of any age can drive a motor vehicle on their own property, or with the permission of the property owner. The driver's license is part of getting permission from the owner of the "public" roads - the government.

Driving is a right.

- Chris

another okie
June 19, 2005, 09:59 PM
If you read the 4th Amendment without reading into it all the preconceptions and ideas we have because of 200 years of Supreme Court opinions, it doesn't actually say you need PC or a warrant for a search. It just says searches have to be "reasonable." It then says you can't get a warrant without probable cause.

The way it worked back then was then officers usually just decided whether they thought a search was reasonable, given people's rights, and then either searched or didn't. If the person searched thought the search was unreasonable, they could sue for damages.

Over time two things happened.

1. Officers realized that if they got a warrant they could not be sued, since they were acting under the orders of a court. So they started getting warrants almost all the time, and pretty soon people and courts started assuming you had to have a warrant for a search. Gradually the standards for a warrant came to be the standards for a search, which were meant to be two different standards under the 4th Amendment.

2. Police were often in situations where they needed to act, or where the imposition seemed minor. Since people and courts were gradually coming to believe you had to have a warrant to search, courts started saying that many of these police actions were not "searches" within the meaning of the 4th Amendment.

That's why a police officer detaining a motorist until the drug dog gets there, and forcing the motorist to allow the drug dog to sniff, is not considered a "search" or an "arrest." It actually is both, but due to our strange reading of the 4th Amendment, it is a search in fact, but not in the eyes of the courts. The same is true for Terry searches, which are not "searches" in the eyes of the court, though having an armed police officer stop you and pat you down may seem like a search to an ordinary person.

In the original understanding of the 4th Amendment, DUI and license checkpoints may or not be reasonable. It's a vague standard designed to be thrashed out in the courts. If you're in a hurry or a bad mood it may seem unreasonable; if you've had a family member killed by a drunk driver it may seem reasonable. But the bizarre way we now misread the 4th amendment makes it hard to even discuss this in a logical way.

odysseus
June 20, 2005, 01:52 AM
Just don't go trying to elevate the privilege of operating a motor vehicle to the same level as the right to keep and bear arms

Who's doing that? Where do you see that???

The discussion is pretty much around probable cause and the 4th Amendment.

odysseus
June 20, 2005, 02:04 AM
if you've had a family member killed by a drunk driver it may seem reasonable. But the bizarre way we now misread the 4th amendment makes it hard to even discuss this in a logical way.

I have lost a cousin and a friend in seperate incidents where an accident involving a drunk driver took their lives. I loath alcoholism or careless drinkers and drunks in general.

Sobriety checkpoints for as long as they have been in place are not stopping people from drinking and driving. Sure they catch some, but many still go on and on and years later, hey guess what? People are still drinking and driving. IMO, committing a wrong in creating these checkpoints is not right - and I then suffer a double punch.

Really - education, a good upbringing and understanding of alchohol, and strong penalites (the FIRST time, not on a second conviction) if they are convicted is where the real battle is fought.

Jim Diver
June 20, 2005, 09:38 PM
Please cite the source for this, I'd love to have it. Empirical evidence would seem to indicate that the checkpoints are a more reliable producer of DUI arrests that random patrol. They may not result in more arrests, but typically at least a minimal number of arrests are assured, which cannot be said of random patrol

Source is National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "[T]he number of DWI arrests made by the roving patrol program was nearly three times the average number of DWIs made by the checkpoint programs," NHTSA reported. "If making a large number of DWI arrests is an objective of a program, [the data] clearly suggests that roving patrols would be the preferred option."

Ky Larry
June 20, 2005, 11:25 PM
Many years ago, I lived in Ashland,Ky and worked in Chesapeke, Ohio. When I worked 4p.m. to midnight shift, I knew I would be pulled over at least once on my way home by the Ohio state police or by a local yokel. My 'crime' was having Kentucky plates on my car and being on the road about the time the local bars closed.
Most of the work the police do is aimed at producing money for the govenment, not protecting the public. Sobriety checkpoints, radar speed traps, and the war on drugs are a few of the governments most profitable rackets. I'm not anti-LEO, I just think these resources could be better used against violent criminals.
Rant mode off. Flame away. I'm going to bed.

Greg M
June 21, 2005, 10:41 AM
Yeah, I don't like the idea of checkpoints, but in some states you can take advantage of the fact that the police must give advanced warning of the impending stop. This thread prompted me to research the laws here in Maryland and I found some great Maryland-specific advice from a local law firm. They say:

"Approaching drivers must be given adequate warning there is a roadblock ahead, and that warning is required to be posted in a conspicuous place giving an approaching driver the opportunity to avoid the checkpoint."

"MAKE NO ADMISSION TO DRINKING OR DRUG USE!"

"DO NOT SUBMIT TO FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS!"

"DO NOT SUBMIT TO A PRELIMINARY BREATH TEST!"

"Once arrested... IMMEDIATELY REQUEST TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY!"

More info can be found at http://www.dwi-law.com/dui.html

Greg

Beethoven
June 21, 2005, 01:00 PM
More info can be found at http://www.dwi-law.com/dui.html

Greg


That is very interesting information.

Is the info on that page applicable to most other states, or only to MD?

Greg M
June 21, 2005, 01:59 PM
Beethoven, I think they are making recommendations based solely on Maryland law. For example, I'm pretty sure that not all states require a warning message for the sobriety checkpoint. On the other hand, I would think that "make no admission to drinking..." and "once arrested, immediately request to speak to an attorney" would apply across the US.

Greg

R.H. Lee
June 21, 2005, 02:02 PM
Failure to submit to a field sobriety test in CA will get you an automatic license suspension. Don't remember how long-6 mos or a year.

Jim Diver
June 21, 2005, 02:14 PM
No. You can refuse a field test in Ca with no il effects. You cannot refuse a breath, blood, or unine test w/o getting your license suspended. Check your drivers hand book.

Field tests are designed so that no one can pass them not matter how sober they are.

R.H. Lee
June 21, 2005, 02:21 PM
Oh yeah, that's the 'stand on one leg with your head tilted back and touch your nose with your eyes closed' thing. It's been so long since I drank any alcohol, I forgot about that one.

I stand corrected. :)

Larry Ashcraft
June 21, 2005, 02:29 PM
"Approaching drivers must be given adequate warning there is a roadblock ahead, and that warning is required to be posted in a conspicuous place giving an approaching driver the opportunity to avoid the checkpoint."
The same law is in effect in CO. Also, if someone turns around and drives the other way, the officers CANNOT pursue them.

fjolnirsson
June 29, 2005, 03:24 AM
I was searching for this website a while back, while this topic was hot news. Finally remembered where I bookmarked it, so....
Checkpoint Nullification (http://www.cpnullification.org/index.html)

Enjoy!

1911 guy
June 29, 2005, 09:10 AM
Sure, this situation might not be as bad in a literal sense as mid-century Germany or cold was era Soviet Union, but how did they begin implementing it? I have a right to drive my car carrying out my private affairs or business. The police have a right to stop me if I behave in a dangerous manner or endanger others on the road. End of story. Centac and others who see no problem with the erosion of our liberties here in America can debate the legality of it all, but the question still remains: IS IT RIGHT OR WRONG? There is a dearth of reason in our culture today, noone can discern the difference between legal and ethical anymore. If a law is unethical it is WRONG. If your actions are unethical, you are wrong. Oh yeah, I cleaned out my car the other day. Didn't want to have that coffee can in there.

GunGoBoom
June 29, 2005, 11:12 AM
What is the name of Sasha Cohen's Russian character - Boris?

Is it just me or does it resemble Nazi Germany and the old USSR?

It's not just you.

Mad Man
June 29, 2005, 11:38 AM
What is the name of Sasha Cohen's Russian character - Boris?


Borat (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Borat&r=d). He's from Kazakhstan (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/kz.html), not Russia.

And for those who are wondering what GunGoBoom is talking about, get a copy of Da Ali G Show (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00020X852/qid%3D1120059634/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/103-4135668-4205435).

antarti
June 29, 2005, 12:08 PM
In the Soviet System (and Nazi I believe) everything that was not expressly allowed was forbidden and criminalized, legal actions were so few that the entire populace consisted of "criminals" for merely trying to survive.

In America the opposite is supposed to be true, everything that is not criminalized is permitted, and only crimes are enumerated and expressed.

Checkpoints and nonexistant PC aren't equal to the Soviet System, but it is yet another mile-marker on our way there, and the engine pulling the train is forceful and unrelenting.

And yes, I've seen the results of Communism for myself, up close and in person, and it isn't pretty. I had to repeatedly tell my adopted ex-commbloc kids that the "militsia" here doesn't pull people over to rob them and shoot them, so they would calm down when passing traffic stops. The more LEOs I read posts from, the more I wonder about the advice that I give them about "the police are your friends"... and about not being robbed/jailed for no reason...

At what point does traveling on roads (that we all pay for with whatever the conveyance-du-jour is) become subject to random or "for the heck of it" checkpoints, for the purpose of determining which are "criminals" and which aren't because you have no clue beforehand? Sounds like the ultimate in "lazy policing" to me, in addition to its flagrant disregard for the rights (not privileges) of the innocent.

Also, tell me how criminal it is to drive without a license? I know people who haven't had license, nor insurance for years... they have been stopped plenty, but I don't know a single one who spent a night in jail, or didn't drive off again the next day. It is a revolving door of infractions... and sometimes I think these are the only people who are sane.

The debate over checkpoints are the difference between:
a) cordoning off a shopping mall full of people where a gunman has hidden, so as to make sure you get the gunman by searching everybody on their way in/out
b) cordoning off a shopping mall full of people to see if there might possibly be a gunman, shoplifter, traffic-ticket non-payor, etc, hiding inside, and searching everybody on their way in/out.

From what I've read from the LEOs, their response would be "the devil is in the details", I would end the sentence after "the devil is". Is this really that difficult to understand?

Ask yourself what the founders would have thought about this, and if you don't get an immediate gag-reflex, do some reading from the period, ass/u/me-ing you can read. Ignorance is our biggest "collective" enemy, followed right behind by the ignorant themselves...

Blue Jays
June 29, 2005, 12:49 PM
Hi All-

I've been stopped twice within forty-five minutes at so-called "license/registration/insurance" checkpoints while visiting client sites in my work territory. Even though I put on my emergency flashers in advance, rolled down my windows, and slowly approached with both hands on the wheel...it was clearly an adversarial experience for both officers.

If anyone had a right to be testy in this situation, it was me! My customers don't want to hear about delays when they need assistance. Could you imagine the additional headaches I would have endured if I pulled a legal U-turn once I saw the roadblocks? The fact that this occured within the same county is nothing less than absurd. Time is money and money is time...leave law-abiding people alone to conduct their day-to-day business without additional hassle.

The frog never notices the water is boiling if it is heated slowly...

~ Blue Jays ~

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