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  1. #1 Are DUI checkpoints Constitutional? 
    Senior Member OwlMBA's Avatar
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    Just curious....

    Around here, if someone turns around to avoid a DUI checkpoint, the police immediately go after them and pull them over and make them take a breathalyzer.

    I am just wondering - is this legal? I can understand checking people that drive through a checkpoint, but can you really just go and pull someone over for not wanting to go through the checkpoint and no other reason?

    Last year I was probably the 50th car in line to go through a DUI checkpoint. After waiting 20 minutes and making little progress, I turned into a parking lot, and turned around. A cop immediately flew up behind me and pulled me over for not waiting another hour to go through the checkpoint. I had not been drinking and was let go, but only after spending another 20 minutes getting yelled at by the cop.

    Apparently you are legally required to go through a one hour delay on your 5 minute drive home.

    I am no lawyer, but I swear there is a free Commerce clause or something that says you are allowed to move around as you see fit without interference from the government. That is a gross oversimplification, of course, but I know some such law exists.

    What do you guys think?
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  2. #2  
    Sonnabend
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    I think that if you see a DUI checkpoint, turn around and run away, then quite frankly., you're a fucking idiot because you've just provided probable cause.

    I am just wondering - is this legal?
    Yes.

    can you really just go and pull someone over for not wanting to go through the checkpoint and no other reason
    Yes. They think you are drunk. Drunk drivers kill people.Women. Children.Themselves.Others.

    Last year I was probably the 50th car in line to go through a DUI checkpoint. After waiting 20 minutes and making little progress, I turned into a parking lot, and turned around. A cop immediately flew up behind me and pulled me over for not waiting another hour to go through the checkpoint. I had not been drinking and was let go, but only after spending another 20 minutes getting yelled at by the cop.
    Boo freaking hoo.

    That is a gross oversimplification, of course, but I know some such law exists.
    Ah...you are asking if you have the right to not be breathalysed. Here, let me show you why.





    So you got delayed. I am terribly sorry that you have been so inconvenienced.

    Bear in mind that maybe the reason you were delayed is they caught a drunk driver.

    OwlMBA...those checkpoints are there for one reason and one alone.

    To save lives. Including yours.
    Last edited by Sonnabend; 09-20-2008 at 06:57 PM.
     

  3. #3  
    Eyelids
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    Driving is a priviledge not a right. You play by their rules or you dont use their roads.
     

  4. #4  
    Senior Member OwlMBA's Avatar
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    I am not saying I disagree with the checkpoints, I just disagree with the police's right to stop people against their will and with no probable cause.

    What's next? Concealed Gun checkpoints? Illegal Alien checkpoints? Why just DUI?

    Where I used to live, DUI checkpoints were very common during the summer. It meant a one hour commute instead of a 5 minute commute home from dinner or the gym. And if you tried to find a shortcut, you were guaranteed to get pulled over. Perhaps I dont feel the government has a right to randomly search me and my car with no cause whatsoever.

    They are also a slippery slope. Lots of people use their cars to break the law. Let's just start searching for everything.

    Here is a better idea. Park cops in the parking lots of bars and watch the drunks stagger to their cars and pull them over. Seems to me that would be a better deterrent anyway.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member OwlMBA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    OwlMBA...those checkpoints are there for one reason and one alone.

    To save lives. Including yours.
    Funny. I hear that exact same line about gun laws too.

    I am for stricter punishment for DUIs. And I want them to catch the drunks. I just dont think shutting down roads and questioning everyone is the right approach.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwlMBA View Post
    Here is a better idea. Park cops in the parking lots of bars and watch the drunks stagger to their cars and pull them over. Seems to me that would be a better deterrent anyway.
    They do that here.. in a major way.

    I hear a lot about checkpoints... but I have never been through or seen a checkpoint... ever. And I've done a lot of driving home from bars. Don't know how I've managed to avoid them.
     

  7. #7  
    Senior Member OwlMBA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    They do that here.. in a major way.

    I hear a lot about checkpoints... but I have never been through or seen a checkpoint... ever. And I've done a lot of driving home from bars. Don't know how I've managed to avoid them.
    Move to Cleveland. Better yet, the police-state suburbs.

    I got a ticket for going 28 in a 25 by a cop who admitted in court he was behind a building when he clocked me, and the radar went through the building.

    Got a ticket for riding my bicycle without a helmet.

    And spent an hour waiting to go through DUI checkpoints almost every weekend after coming home...... from the GYM! And turning around meant getting harassed and yelled at, so I just waited and went through the checkpoint for my grand inquisition every weekend. I have nice cars, so I have a big bullseye on my forehead.
    Last edited by OwlMBA; 09-20-2008 at 07:43 PM.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    I've never had a DUI and have never driven drunk. I drink. I drive. But never at the same time. I have no tolerance for those who do.

    I also have serious reservations about the lack of probable cause in detaining people in these DUI checkpoints. Having said that, though, I think they do have a a positive effect and I support them.

    This guy is a DUI defense attorney, so take what he says with a grain of salt, but it's interesting.

    Opinion: Why Are DUI Sobriety Checkpoints Constitutional?
    Attorney Lawrence Taylor explains the constitutionality of DUI roadblocks.

    Have you ever wondered how police can stop you at a DUI roadblock (aka "sobriety checkpoint")? Doesn't the Constitution require them to have "probable cause before stopping you"? Yes and no.

    The Constitution of the United States 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 drunk driving roadblocks? Good question. And it was raised in the case of Michigan v. Sitz, in which the Michigan Supreme Court striking down DUI roadblocks as unconstitutional. In a 6-3 decision, however, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Michigan court, holding that they were constitutionally permissible.

    Chief Justice Rehnquist began his majority opinion by admitting that DUI sobriety checkpoints do, in fact, constitute a "seizure" within the language of the Fourth Amendment. In other words, yes, it appears to be a blatant violation of the Constitution. However, he continued, it's only a little one, and something has to be done about the "carnage" on the highways caused by drunk drivers. The "minimal intrusion on individual liberties," Rehnquist wrote, must be "weighed" against the need for -- and effectiveness of -- DUI roadblocks. In other words, the ends justify the means.

    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... 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 another 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," he wrote, "indicate that the net effect of sobriety checkpoints on traffic safety is infinitesimal and possibly negative."

    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, though now 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." A small number of states have since followed Michigan's example.
    Mr. Taylor is an attorney with the Law Offices of Lawrence Taylor and author of the standard text on DUI litigation, Drunk Driving Defense, 6th edition.

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/09/921.asp
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member OwlMBA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
    I've never had a DUI and have never driven drunk. I drink. I drive. But never at the same time. I have no tolerance for those who do.

    I also have serious reservations about the lack of probable cause in detaining people in these DUI checkpoints. Having said that, though, I think they do have a a positive effect and I support them.

    This guy is a DUI defense attorney, so take what he says with a grain of salt, but it's interesting.


    Mr. Taylor is an attorney with the Law Offices of Lawrence Taylor and author of the standard text on DUI litigation, Drunk Driving Defense, 6th edition.

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/09/921.asp
    That was very interesting! Thanks for posting!
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member LogansPapa's Avatar
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    The street, the road, and the freeway are not yours. They're designated as city, state and federally controlled entities, patrolled and protected by various agencies of law enforcement. You do not have to use them - it's not absolutely mandatory in your life. Don't like the check-points? Walk. You're lucky somebody didn't use a night stick on you and arrest your sorry ass.

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