Daily Archives: December 9, 2008
I’ve railed long and hard in past posts about the unconstitutionality of DUI roadblocks ("sobriety checkpoints") — as well as about their ineffectiveness and growing abuse. See, e.g., Do Roadblocks Work?, Do Roadblocks Work? (Part II), DUI Logic: Roadblocks Effective Because They’re Ineffective, Police Using DUI Roadblocks Illegally, Purpose of DUI Roadblocks: "Shock and Awe" and DUI Roadblocks for Fun and Profit.
Just another recent example here in California:
DUI Checkpoint Finds Many Unlicensed Drivers, But No Drunks
Bakersfield, CA – Bakersfield police impounded 84 vehicles at a DUI checkpoint Friday night in the 4600 block of Stockdale Highway. The Traffic Enforcement Detail says the event is an effort to reduce the number of people killed each year in DUI related collisions, as well as insuring motorists on city streets are in possession of a valid driver’s license.
The checkpoint was set up at the intersection of Stockdale Highway and Montclair Street around 5 p.m. Friday and taken down at 1 a.m. Saturday. Nearly 3,000 vehicles were screened by officers, resulting in 32 citations for driving on a suspended or revoked license; 53 for driving without a valid license and 32 motorists were cited for miscellaneous vehicle code violations.
Another effective roadblock: 117 citations and 84 vehicle impounds – worth a bucket of fines to the local city treasury. Drunk drivers? Who cares.
Oh, and by the way, the Supreme Court carved out an exception to the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment for roadblocks — but only for apprehending drunk drivers, not for "insuring motorists on city streets are in possession of a valid driver’s license".