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Independence, MO - Police Stage Roadblock To Check Driver's Licenses

Discussion in 'Legal' started by WonderNine, Jul 16, 2004.

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  1. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    From the nazification of the usa files:


    INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Police in Independence conducted a driver checkpoint on Thursday, but it wasn't to look for drunken drivers. For about an hour Thursday afternoon, officers stopped vehicles to make sure drivers had valid licenses. But some are questioning the legality of holding such a checkpoint. Independence police have arrested more than 1,300 drivers this year for driving without a valid license, KMBC's Jim Flink reported. On Thursday, police stopped about 300 drivers on a busy street.

    Independence Officer Tom Gentry said drivers without licenses pose a safety concern. "It's a public safety issue. On public highways, you don't want illegal drivers out there who might pose a grave danger," he said.

    But Gentry added there are other reasons for wanting to make the stops.

    "People who don't bother to get their driver's license or get them renewed -- usually that's an indicator of other problems as well," Gentry said.

    Independence officers issued 10 tickets on Thursday, and they also arrested four people on outstanding warrants and one person for possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia.

    But Dick Kurtenback, of the American Civil Liberties Union, said he's troubled by police stopping drivers for this type of search.

    "This bothers me -- they're conducting general searches without probable cause," he said. "I think the problem there is they're changing some essential aspects of this country's character, and I think it's troublesome that they're doing that."

    Kurtenbach said the searches may violate people's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. Some drivers with whom Flink spoke agreed.

    "For public safety, I think it's all right. But it does kind of bother me, in the sense that I think it's an invasion of my personal liberty," driver T.K. Shiao said.

    But motorist Jan Huff-Soper thought police were doing the right thing.

    "It sounds like they have a lot of people driving without licenses, and I would hope people driving out there would have valid licenses," she said.

    Police said the number of arrests this year proves the roadblocks work. The police department is basing its use of checkpoints on a Supreme Court case that allows DUI roadblocks in the interest of public safety.

    Kurtenbach said drivers without licenses aren't inherently dangerous, even if they are breaking the law.
  2. KaceCoyote

    KaceCoyote Well-Known Member

    dude, I am -so- done with this stupid state.
  3. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Well-Known Member

    Maybe I am stupid but would someone please explain to me how a piece of plastic will prevent someone from 'posing a grave danger?" I fail to see the logic.

  4. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Well-Known Member

    pffftt. I don't think they do that even here in California. The crime rate in Independence must be ZERO, or else they'd be out there apprehending criminals. Truman would weep.
  5. Ian

    Ian Well-Known Member

    See, people without proper government licensing are super dangerous. The problem is, when they're out driving, they pretend to be safe, and so you can't tell who they are by watching them drive. Instead, you have to set up checkpoints to find out if they're actually safe or just acting safe to trick people. It's for the children, you know.
  6. Blue Line

    Blue Line Well-Known Member

    maybe they should have said those that are out there driving on suspended licenses instead. I'm all for taking the the guy who has his license suspended for DUI off the road before he runs into my family or yours.
  7. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    But that's not the premise behind this article. Citizens traveling down a public road who aren't breaking the law have the right to be secure in their persons and effects without being randomly stopped and searched like criminals. That whole 4th Amendment thing.
  8. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm stupid or something, but I don't see any problem with this. Unlike the RKBA, there is no Constitutional "right to operate a motor vehicle." Driving is a privilege, for which we are supposed to pay a fee. Those who drive without a license (a) haven't paid the fee, and (b) as the officer said, usually have some other problems as well.

    Unreasonable search? Why? How? If one is required by law to have a license to drive, why is it "unreasonable" to conduct stops to verify that those driving the public highways have the required license?

    I don't get it.
  9. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    There is no Constitutional "right to operate an AR-15" either. You're looking at this from the wrong perspective. The Constitution does not tell the government what they CAN'T do, it tells the government what that CAN do.

    :rolleyes: Where do I start?

    Or maybe a better question is; why bother?
  10. ducktapehero

    ducktapehero Well-Known Member

    Independence Missouri has one of the highest concentrations of meth labs in the whole country but the idiot's in charge think unlicensed drivers are "a grave danger"? :banghead: :banghead:
  11. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Well-Known Member

    I also do not see a problem in this. Roads are constructed using taxpayer money and overseen by various local and federal governments. To drive on a public road, you must have a valid driver's license as well as valid motor vehicle registration. Neither is a constitutional right and it is not comparable to the 2nd Amendment protections. You can own cars and drive anywhere you want on private land without a license. Only operating a vehicle on public streets requires a license.

    I equate it with being required to show ID prior to entering a bar. Is it an invasion of my privacy to have to prove I'm over 21 to enter a bar or buy alcohol?

    Whether or not it is a waste of time and law enforcement resources is a different matter.
  12. Penforhire

    Penforhire Well-Known Member

    I have zero problem with being stopped to show a valid drivers' license. I start to have a problem if there are then unreasonable searches and seizures. But driving is not a right. You have to have a license on your person when you drive. So I say they keep at it. Wish they did it more in my neighborhood.

    The report is not clear on the unreasonable search and seizure part. We all know non-law-abiding citizens can and do give themselves away in conversation (making a search reasonable).
  13. westex

    westex Well-Known Member

    If they were also checking to see if everyone was a legal US citizen I might be inclined to let this slide.:D
  14. ducktapehero

    ducktapehero Well-Known Member

    The fact that some people will accept this is very disheartening to me.
  15. madcowburger

    madcowburger member

    Well, I have a perfectly valid driver's license, but I don't think I should have to. I have a perfectly valid CCW permit too, and I don't think I should have to have that either.

    I don't buy all this pre-recorded propaganda that "Driving is a privilege, not a right" they've got everybody programmed to repeat automatically anyway. I don't respect such "laws" at all. I just play along to keep out of jail. I *know* it has *zero* to do with "public safety."

    I say the right to travel, to move about freely, is just as much a right as the right to self-defence, and that both rights imply the right to the *means* of exercising the right. It's just as much a right as the rights to "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" -- and an inherent *part of* all those rights.

    How're you going to "pursue happiness" if you can't go anywhere? What kind of *life* can you have? What kind of *liberty* is that?

    "Public safety." Please. Tell me how having a little laminated plastic card makes a hormonally challenged 16-year-old in a souped-up "monster truck" zooming along while yakking on a cell phone a "safer" driver than someone like me, who's been driving for 31 years, without a ticket (other than a parking ticket) or any accident that was in any way my fault in 25 or 26 years, with or *without* the little laminated plastic card.

    And all that "implied consent" stuff. :rolleyes: If I "consented" to anything, by God it was under duress, almost as much as if a gun were held to my head.

    How long's it going to be before *walking* becomes a "privilege, not a right"? It's almost like that now. How long before you need a "walking license," that you have to present on demand to any policeman you meet, which not having in your possession is a crime, and the mere possession of which "implies" your "consent" to a whole host of external and internal searches?

    *Working* has evidently become "a privilege, not a right," since Clinton fixed it so that *everybody* applying for *any* straight job in America must provide a Social Security card to work. This was done in the name of tracking down "deadbeat dads" -- "for the iddy-biddy widdew-childwen," you know.

    I have a *huge* problem with any and all warrantless searches. I consider all these roadblocks/checkpoints -- whether they be in the name of "sobriety" or "public safety" or "seatbelt compliance" or whatever, you name it -- to be *grossly* unconstitutional, and indeed *anti*-constitutional.

    I can't do anything about right now, but I sure don't have to like it.:fire:

  16. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Driving is a right that can be lost as a result of criminal behavior. States always claim it's a privilege, but that's more statist dishonesty.
  17. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

    westex beat me to it......how many of those stopped were illegal al.....oops, I mean "undocumented workers" and what was done with them?
  18. Ellery Holt

    Ellery Holt Well-Known Member

    All are welcome to move to Oregon, where our state supreme court ruled years ago that this kind of thuggish behavior is prohibited by the state constution.

    Looking for a date when this happened (I recall I was a new driver then, and had never encountered one myself) I found this:

    So it looks like Oregon is in the minority. A great club to be in. :) Oregon, Washington & Idaho make a great little corner of the world to live and drive within.

    Oregon is not without its share of peoplewhothinkotherpeoplelivingfreeisscary. One wrote an editorial in The Oregonian several months back that the federal government should mandate that every automobile be equipped with a breath alcohol analyzer connected to the ignition. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2004
  19. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Driver's license checkpoints have been around since at least 1959, to my personal knowledge. SCOTUS has held that so long as all cars are stopped, the checkpoint is legal. They certainly are no part of "nazification".

    Driving a car on a public road is a state-licensed activity. As such, it can be monitored as the states desire.

    The local daily paper lists various crimes in a daily police report. I've long been amazed at how many get stopped for speeding, etc., and are then found to have no driver's license, or an expired driver's license, or to have lost their driving privilege via court order.

    It's all well and good to get on one's high horse and snort and snicker about safety, but somebody who's gone downhill to 20/100 vision or has a history of DUI can ruin your whole day--and that of your family.

  20. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    Didn't you mean liberty? ;)

    Yea that darn liberty high horse, I can't stand people who rant and rave about liberty all day. :scrutiny:

    Fortunately, people who care about it and have a life don't like to be subjected to random searches of their persons and effects everytime they travel down the road. Slippery slope this, papers please that, those darn terrorist criminals with their pocket constitutions.
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