In 1990 the United States Supreme Court found that correctly ran sobriety checkpoints were constitutional, even though they do violate “the peoples” rights. A few states have made it illegal for said checkpoints to be ran, saying that it violated their own constitution. While the argument for drunk driving checkpoints is that, it only takes a short period of time to determine that a person is intoxicated or impaired, it still is infringing on citizens’ rights. A person who argues for that side would also be quick to point out it is “for the greater good”, which I totally agree with but still believe it is infringing on the rights set forth in the constitution.
To begin my argument as to why we should NOT have drunk driving check points I would like to quote one of the judges in the dissenting opinion of the United States Supreme Court decision in 1990, “…the findings of the trial court, based on an extensive record and affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, indicate that the net effect of sobriety checkpoints on traffic safety is infinitesimal and possibly negative.” (Justia Law) How could police departments continue to enforce these sobriety checkpoints if their net effect is little to nothing? Now I can understand the usage of sobriety checkpoints on holidays where drinking liquor is a popular thing to do such as New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July, other than a few holidays around the year I don’t think there is an overwhelming need for said checkpoints because it seems to be a waste of manpower. More and more these days’ police departments are asking for more funding for different things, these checkpoints are just adding to the budget problems even more.
A personal example I have is that a few...
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...ir cause. Also, what that argument sounds like is the government using the police force as a fear component of their grasp. In one of the studies by a person that is for DUI checkpoints they asserted that “checkpoints can be successfully operated with just a few officers” (Walden). Earlier I cited a study that said the average checkpoint has ~12 officers staffing it, that’s quite a lot more than “just a few officers”.
In conclusion, I believe DUI/Sobriety Checkpoints violate our constitutional right of being protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. There is no probable cause presented by driving into a checkpoint, there are many other ways of deterring drunk driving, one of which should not be violating individuals rights. While the checkpoints might instill fear into prospective drunk drivers, I do not think it is the best deterrent of the act itself.
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