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DUI checkpoints

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by MTM, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    What do you all think about the usefulness of DUI checkpoints where officers set up in the middle of a road and stop every vehicle?

    I got stopped in one the other night on the way home from work and was pissed I had to wait 10 minutes to get through.

    I'm in favor of getting drunken drivers off the road, but to me, the checkpoints are all about show and getting overtime pay for police officers.

    The amount of effort and money that goes into arresting a few drivers seems a waste to me.

    When I was stopped, the officer asked if I had anything to drink and I said "nope." He then asked where I was coming from and where I was going, and my thought was "none of your effin business."

    I'm sure he was making conversation to see if I was slurring or confused, but it still bothered me.
  2. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I personally think they qualify as unreasonable search. Esssentially, anyone on that road is assumed to be guilty.

    I'd rather see cops parked outside bars at closing time, where they can actually do some good without harassing people who are just trying to drive home from work.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Always bugs me also. I like to fuck with em. I always look straight ahead with both hands on wheel and answer questions in a polite yes sir / no sir manner but again not looking at them. Drives them crazy.
  4. jackfinarelli

    jackfinarelli Member

    I doubt I would like to have to wait 10 minutes to get past a checkpoint - - but that does seem like a small price to pay to get even a couple of impaired drivers off the highways.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I've read quite a bit about this. A guy named Bernard Harcourt has written some pretty good stuff on searches. It's fairly out there - he thinks the most efficient policing should be all random searches, basically. But he's got the data to back it up. I can dig up his book later and quote from some of it, when I have time this week. Really thought-provoking, though I'm really afraid, because it's a little out of the mainstream, of starting a flame war if people think I'm being contrarian and making the thread "about me." So let me know if you guys are interested.

    Here's the thing: At what point is a search "unreasonable"? There are estimates that a certain percentage of drivers at a certain time of night, on a certain day of the week, are impaired. Let's put it at 20 percent. And that might be conservative. I've got the numbers somewhere. So as the police, 20 percent of the cars you stop are going to be driven by impaired drivers. It's basically profiling of people on that stretch of road at that time of night. Is a 20 percent chance unreasonable to you?
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    What if they stopped everybody who entered a mall for 10 minutes for a handgun? At some point, you will keep a couple of gun carriers, somewhere, out of a mall.

    Small price to pay?

    Both situations represent the classic conundrum: At what price freedom?
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I think the Supreme Court has been pretty detailed in what you can and can't do. I know that Indianapolis had some kind of search program that was held to he unconstitutional because they were just searching for general criminal activity, not something specific like impaired driving.
  8. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    Here's a press release from our local PD, showing how few people are actually caught:

    Podunk Police Department Traffic Unit conducted a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint on 03-16-12, on Peyton Manning Road just west of Eli Manning East. Due to rain, the checkpoint was only operational between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 11:35 p.m. After 11:35 p.m., the officers assigned to the checkpoint conducted DUI Saturation Patrol throughout the city until 3:00 a.m.

    A total of 876 vehicles drove through the checkpoint and of these vehicles 626 were screened. 26 of the drivers screened were pulled into a secondary area for further investigation. Two of these drivers were cited for driving on a suspended license and their vehicles were impounded. Four of these drivers were cited for driving without a valid license and their vehicles were only released to licensed drivers who responded to the checkpoint.

    Officers that participated in the DUI Saturation Patrol from 11:35 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. arrested one 26-year-old male adult for DUI and cited/released a 20-year-old male adult for driving with a blood alcohol content level over .04%.

    Seems to me to be a lot of effort for little return.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Between 8:30 and 11:35 is not prime DUI time. That begins later.
  10. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    That goes to my arguement that many of the checkpoints are a waste of time and resources.

    Many in Southern California think the checkpoints are just a veiled way to pull over illegal aliens and impound their vehicles.
  11. Bruce Leroy

    Bruce Leroy Active Member

    I couldn't disagree more with this one. It's not entrapment, but it's still not OK for cops to set up camp outside of bars and then start pulling people over as they leave - for no reason other than the person just left a place that serves alcohol. My hometown had some issues with this a while back. I don't know if it's still as bad, but people would avoid going out downtown because it was known that cops would pull people over for b.s. reasons just in hopes of getting a DUI arrest.
  12. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Their presence outside bars at closing time discourages violent behavior in parking lots.

    And I don't have a problem if a cop makes an arrest after he sees someone stagger to their vehicle, fumble with their keys and then take off. The cop has a reasonable suspicion that the person may be intoxicated. Checkpoints are entirely different.
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