Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Are Sobriety Checkpoints Really Unconstitutional?

Lily Dane 

The Daily Sheeple
September 2nd, 2014
Reader Views: 1,003

Sobriety checkpoints (or “DUI checkpoints”) are roadblocks that law enforcement officers set up on roads for the purpose of catching people driving under the influence of alcohol. Some of us also think they are used to generate revenue for police departments and the State, since the stops often result in citizens being slapped with minor (finable) offenses. Of course, the blatantly plunderous civil asset forfeiture racket has been implemented during these stops as well.

Twelve states do not conduct sobriety checkpoints because they prohibit them by state law or their interpretation of state Constitution. If you live in, or are driving through, any of these 12 states, you won’t have to worry about encountering entrapment checkpoints: Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Out of that list, Texas is the only state that prohibits DUI checkpoints based on their interpretation of the US Constitution.
Let’s stop here to review the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution:

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.

Interestingly, many of the 38 states that DO conduct checkpoints do so under the belief that they are “upheld” under the federal Constitution. Washington, D.C. also allows them for that reason.
And, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that in the case of DUI checkpoints, our Fourth Amendment rights don’t apply. That court found that the state’s interest in reducing drunk driving outweighs the “minor infringement” on a driver’s Constitutional rights.

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