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Monday, April 2, 2012

Checkpoints - Constitutional or Not?

I am a Law and Order guy. Most people reading this site are Law and Order people. In fact, I love Law and Order the television series, ha ha. But one thing I have a problem accepting are law enforcement checkpoints. I have seen these checkpoints set up to stop motorists and ask to see driver's license, insurance and vehicle registration and truth be told these checkpoints net many drunk driver's which of course is in the public's best safety interest,...but is it in the best interests of Constitutional rights?.

I have been taught and I also believe that law enforcement has to have a reason to make a stop, temporary and non-invasive as it may be. The reason for a stop can be "reasonable suspicion" the lowest standard possible where an law enforcement officer believes that the person he is stopping is engaged in or has just completed a criminal act. The officer's beliefs must be based on articulate facts not just "mere suspicion".

"Probable Cause" is a reason for a stop when the officer has seen a crime or violation being committed. This is the reason you are stopped when speeding,...the officer using a Doppler or Lidar radar gun clocks you at over the posted speed limit - hence the probable cause that a violation is or has been committed. Same thing when your tail or brake lights are out,...proof or probable cause that a violation has been committed.

I just think that vehicle checkpoints are unconstitutional, before there is no reason that you are being stopped, except to go fishing for a violation or for someone who is hot on warrants. I beliefs been "over ruled" of course by the courts who think that for the public good, a short non-invasive stop is in the public's best interests,.....all while Mexican trucks come through the ports of entry as a safety hazard with driver's and vehicles who do not get the regulated training and standards over sight.

While the below video is a set up for law enforcement, but I cannot help but think the Officer is thinking "Give me your DL or ID, I want to run you and see if you come up hot for warrants."

A local lawyer told me that lawyers who argue the constitutionality of a vehicle checkpoint stop resulting in an arrest, more often than not, get the charge reduced or dismissed. Perhaps there are some Constitutional loving judges out there?

From YouTube: In the video below, Teacher Abbie Newman was arrested for not submitting to an unconstitutional, random checkpoint. Narration by Alex Jones. This is of course a planned setup on law enforcement.


  1. I hope that there are lots of Constitution loving Judges out there.

  2. There aren't. Trust me. They don't bring in enough money, for one thing, and get a reputation for "biting the hand that feeds them" for another. The newspapers print stories about their courtroom proceedings that make the ordinary reader think that they are some kind of kook. When reelection time comes, they face an electorate loaded against them. I speak from experience.