Drunk Driving Checkpoints vs. Freedom

The Future of Freedom Foundation posted online a piece I wrote for their Freedom Daily on the scourge of drunk driving checkpoints.


by James Bovard

Tens of thousands of innocent Americans are stopped each month at police checkpoints that treat every driver as a criminal. These checkpoints, supposedly started to target drunk drivers, have expanded to give police more intrusive power over citizens in many areas.

The demonization of alcohol is leading to a growing nullification of the constitutional rights of anyone suspected of drinking – or anyone who might have had a drink anytime recently. In 1925, the Supreme Court declared, “It would be intolerable and unreasonable if a prohibition agent were authorized to stop every automobile on the chance of finding liquor, and thus subject all persons lawfully using the highways to the inconvenience and indignity of such a search.”
But as the 20th century progressed, judges and prosecutors gained a more rarefied understanding of the Bill of Rights.

In the early 1980s, police departments began setting up checkpoints to stop and check all cars traveling along a road to see whether the driver was intoxicated. As law professor Nadine Strossen wrote, checkpoint “searches are intensely personal in nature, involving a police officer’s close-range examination of the driver’s face, breath, voice, clothing, hands, and movements.” The checkpoints were extremely controversial. In 1984, the Oklahoma Supreme Court banned the practice in that state, declaring that drunk-driving roadblocks “draw dangerously close to what may be referred to as a police state.”

In 1988, the Michigan Court of Appeals, in a case involving driver Rick Sitz, also concluded that the practice was unconstitutional. The Michigan Department of State Police appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. As professor Strossen observed,

The Sitz plaintiffs argued that mass, suspicionless searches and seizures at drunk driving roadblocks violate the Fourth Amendment because they are not based on any individualized suspicion.

But the Supreme Court disregarded the privacy concerns and approved the checkpoints. In a statement that epitomized some judges’ blind faith in police officers, Chief Justice Rehnquist declared, “For the purposes of Fourth Amendment analysis, the choice among reasonable alternatives remains with the government officials who have a unique understanding of, and a responsibility for, limited public resources.”
Justice John Paul Stevens dissented, stating, “On the degree to which the sobriety checkpoint seizures advance the public interest … the Court’s position is wholly indefensible…. The evidence in this case indicates that sobriety check points result in the arrest of a fraction of one percent of the drivers who are stopped, but there is absolutely no evidence that this figure represents an increase over the number of arrests that would have been made by using the same law enforcement resources in conventional patrols.”
Stevens observed, “A Michigan officer who questions a motorist [seized] at a sobriety checkpoint has virtually unlimited discretion to [prolong the detention of] the driver on the basis of the slightest suspicion…. [The] Court’s decision … appears to give no weight to the citizen’s interest in freedom from suspicionless unannounced investigatory seizures.”  Stevens characterized the checkpoints as “elaborate and disquieting publicity stunts.”

In the Sitz decision, the Supreme Court concluded that since checkpoint searches were equally intrusive on all drivers, no individual had a right to complain about an intrusive search. But that stands the Bill of Rights on its head – reading the Fourth Amendment to require the government to equally violate the rights of all citizens, rather than to restrict government violations of any citizen’s rights.

Naturally, once the Supreme Court sanctioned drunk-driving checkpoints, police expanded their use. As long as the car is stopped and the policeman is there, why not check to see whether the driver is wearing a seatbelt – or has his registration with him – or has any open containers of alcohol in the car – or has any guns hidden under the seat or in the glove compartment? And why not take a drug-sniffing dog and walk it around the car to see whether the pooch wags his tail, thereby automatically nullifying the driver’s and passengers’ constitutional rights and entitling police to forcibly search the vehicle?

Checkpoint tyranny

According to a North Carolina State Police press release, a statewide “Booze It & Lose It” checkpoint crackdown resulted not only in the arrest of drunk drivers but also in the arrest of 137 drivers for firearms violations and 636 for drug violations. The press release noted, “In addition to targeting impaired drivers, law enforcement officers will be keeping watch for other violations of the law.” This is essentially a declaration from the police of their intent to do visual searches – if not more – of all the cars they stop. The checkpoints did nab one drunk “big fish”: State Senator George Miller Jr., who had championed strict drunk-driving laws.

Nebraska police set up a checkpoint consisting of a sign announcing a narcotics checkpoint; police then watched to see which drivers passing the sign showed “furtive movements,” thereby supposedly justifying the police to pursue, stop, and search the auto. (A state court struck down the procedure as unconstitutional.)

One California police chief set up a checkpoint supposedly for the purpose of checking licenses and vehicle registrations. But in reality, the roadblock was a pretext for drug searches, since drug-sniffing dogs would circle all the stopped cars. The local police chief admitted in court that he set up the license-and-registration roadblock because he knew he could not lawfully establish a roadblock that was only “looking for drugs.” (A judge squelched the chief’s program.)

Monroe County, Pennsylvania, police began setting up checkpoints at random points in the Pocono Mountains. Though the checkpoints were supposedly instituted to catch drunk drivers, they were also used to catch drug couriers. One annoyed local resident complained to a local paper that he had been stopped at the roadblock at night and after complying with police requests to show that his car’s equipment was in proper working order, he was approached by a black-hooded police officer who brandished a heavy flashlight and told him repeatedly that he appeared jumpy. Meanwhile, two other police officers shined flashlights into the car. When they saw two jugs of water, they questioned him about why he had so much water with him. The local police chief defended the use of black-hooded drug agents at the late-night checkpoints.

A drunk-driving checkpoint erected by Florida police near Orlando resulted in 65 drivers’ receiving fines for such crimes as not carrying proof of insurance, not wearing a seat belt, nonfunctioning horn (apparently the cars, as well as the drivers, had to pass a toot test), having loud mufflers, and failing to have the correct residential address on a driver’s license. Of a thousand people checked, only seven were arrested for driving under the influence. Thus, almost ten times as many drivers were fined for violations with no relation to drunk driving as were fined for drunk driving. And the amount of time they spent listening to horns honking epitomizes how police squander their shifts merely as revenue agents with guns on their hips.

Checkpoint politics

Congress made drunk-driving checkpoints even more irrelevant to public safety with a 1995 law that effectively required state governments to penalize as drunk any driver under the age of 21 who had consumed a single beer. That was a follow-up to one of the worst abuses of the Reagan administration – a 1984 law that compelled all states to raise their drinking age to 21 or else lose federal highway subsidies.

Drunk-driving policies are sometimes heavily influenced by politics – especially by politicians’ love of bragging about arrest rates of drunk drivers. Newsday reported in 1994 that in Nassau County, Long Island, police appeared to have a quota for DWI arrests. Officers were permitted to receive lucrative overtime assignments only after making a DWI arrest. Newsday noted,  “DWI arrests have been on a downward trend, and that’s a politically thorny issue for elected officials who like to point to successful war-on-drunk-drivers statistics, especially when they are running for election.”

In judging policies against drunk driving, it is important to recognize that some widely used statistics may exaggerate the harm done by drunk drivers themselves. Richard Berman of the Alcoholic Beverage Council noted in 1995, 

“Last year, 17,461 people were killed in “alcohol-related” traffic accidents. Because of the way statistics are developed by the Department of Transportation, an accident does not have to be “caused” by alcohol to be classified as “alcohol-related.” It is estimated that 50 percent of these accidents “related” to alcohol would have occurred anyway. Even more bizarre, an alcohol-related fatality can result from a sober driver who wrongfully hits another car, killing the “innocent” driver who had one beer with dinner.

Furthermore, most of these deaths are not “tragic killings”…. The overwhelming majority of alcohol-related deaths are the drunken drivers and their drunken passengers. (These folks may be accused of suicide, but generally not homicide.) Even less reported is the fact that approximately 10 percent of these reported fatalities are drunken pedestrians hit by non-drinking drivers – weak support for tough laws aimed at drivers.

There is a great difference between vigorous prosecution and penalizing of drunk drivers, and creating laws that presume that every driver deserves to be treated by police as a drunk. Drunk-driving checkpoints greatly increase the police’s power to harass everyone.

Drunk-driving checkpoints epitomize the modern law-enforcement mentality – that it is more important to be politically visible and impose costs on private, law-abiding citizens than to actually solve the problem – as if annoying the public is more important than protecting them.

Tagline: Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy (Palgrave, 2006), Lost Rights (St. Martin’s, 1994), and other books.


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30 Responses to Drunk Driving Checkpoints vs. Freedom

  1. Jerry October 24, 2007 at 10:09 am #

    Reason Magazine had an interesting article about alcohol laws in the most recent issue. Went after not just sobriety check points, but those ignition lock systems for cars and pre-emptive measures, such as using doctors to nab alcoholics…who have never been caught drunk driving.

  2. Tory October 24, 2007 at 2:57 pm #

    I remember a newspaper columnist saying “Americans are obsessed with safety”; not true; it’s the news media that’s obsessed with brainwashing us into believing we are not safe enough.

    I have more trouble with sober drivers talking on cell phones.

    Police officers risk their lives everyday to keep us safe (and to advance their careers.)

    If America refuses to respect the Constitution then the only way to get police off our backs is to cut their size in half. First we must cut in half the number of news columnists obsessed with our safety.

  3. Dirk W. Sabin October 24, 2007 at 3:22 pm #

    Rest assured that this kind of checkpointing will only get worse with a National ID card. After all, what use are they if you don’t have checkpoints to check them with? The general surrender of the thumb sucking populace to notions that they need to be protected from both terrorists and themselves is truly strange. Having spent a night in a Midtown Manhattan hoosegow as a result of a seatbelt checkpoint that revealed a suspended license that was itself the result of a Governmental paperwork snafu beyond my control, I can tell you that it aint no fun at all and nobodies safety was enhanced as a result. I seem to recall that the New Yawk Justice system extracted close to $500 from me in addition to another lost day of productivity while sitting in court before it was all over.In my case , the arresting officers were a decent and solicitous lot but I’ve heard from people who ended up white-knuckling it in the downtown tombs for an extended stay under the same circumstances. On the other hand, my kids and wife used the event to good effect on several subsequent occassions and I reliably wear my seatbelt not in fear of moving violation dismemberment but in fear of another night in jail.

    The only good thing that came out of my incarceration was the in depth essay on the beneficial effects of miscegenation upon the beauty of Cuban Woman presented by my Cuban cellmate. Hauled in on the same offense, he proceeded to say “unbelievable mang, I get all the way here from cuba on a _ _ _ _ ing raft and get arrested for not wearing a seat belt.” I told him it was a shame that those two guys who piloted a 50’s truck made into a boat reached nearly all the way to our shores before being deported back to Cuba. I told him the country would be better served by employing such economical ingenuity at NASA and he replied ” _ _ _ _ ing right mang, give a couple Cubans a garage and a million bucks and they’ll put a beat up truck on the Moon Mang.”.

    Given the costs of security and the privatization of security, rest assured that checkpoints will increase exponentially while drunk driving deaths or rates of any other kind of traffic violation will remain unchanged or, in fact increase because after all and as you assert, the checkpoints aint really to fight drunken driving.

    Suffice to say that with this Justice Department, one better present a GOP Voter Registration Card with one’s license and registration.

    One wonders why the public dont understand that lots of people wearing jackboots aint always a good sign. You’d think this really was a lawless society hellbent on chaos instead of one simply slouching into a gloomily cheap remake of a Kafka short story.

  4. Jim October 24, 2007 at 4:04 pm #


    So that’s how you turned into Henry David Thoreau!

    Your Cuban story is more entertaining than anything in his “Civil Disobedience” (which he wrote after he spent a night in jail for refusing to pay a ‘war tax’).

  5. Terry October 24, 2007 at 10:16 pm #

    Having spent the last five years in an ongoing legal battle after being dragged out of my vehicle and arrested by tribal police, U.S. Customs and the U.S. Border Patrol at a joint task force dragnet narcotics operation masquerading as a sobriety checkpoint, I can attest to just how much “law enforcement” has abused this Fourth Amendment loophole created by the Supreme Court in Sitz vs. Michigan Department of State Police.

    For more information about my case (that’s just been appealed to the 9th Circuit) along with the proliferation of suspicionless checkpoints in general, checkout:


    Thanks for the great overview on this timely subject.

  6. crash course October 25, 2007 at 6:54 am #

    Whilst I’m behind you 100% in terms of ensuring that democratic governments doesn’t overstep their remit, I’m not sure that drivers who drink are the best case to defend our freedoms on.
    If a roadblock saves one innocent life a year by catching people who are drunk or drugged driving I think that’s OK. The innocent/law abiding people have rights to and that includes the police protecting them against law breakers.

  7. Jim October 25, 2007 at 10:59 am #

    http://www.checkpointusa.org is the best website I have seen on the evil and abuses of government checkpoints. The blog page at http://www.checkpointusa.org/blog/ has excellent summaries and links to cases that prove the perils of letting G-men stop anyone who drives along….

  8. Dirk W. Sabin October 25, 2007 at 1:24 pm #

    Like every other summary argument in favor of caution on the side of liberty in this security-mad State, protesting the increase in invasive and “throw the net out-revenue enhancement ” auto checkpoints does not automatically mean that one supports drunk drivers. However, I would take my chances with drunks on the road if the alternative was our continuance on this cockeyed road toward security absolutism and it’s corresponding spawn:the Checkpoint Martinette.

    As to Henry, I’m more like Henry’s retahded brother. I’d likely freeze to death before erecting that hut for $15 (or whatever it was). The Cuban cellmate made what could have been a dreadful experience into one of the more entertaining nights I’ve had. At one point, while we were laughing and carrying on… devoid of valuables or shoelaces, the precinct desk officer ducked into our klink and pointed out the camera trained on the cell and told us we should tone it down because the “fellas in the station don’t like it when the prisoners are having a good time”. Angel had his best laugh when the officer told us that when my daughter came and retrieved my car , she told them “he NEVER wears his seatbelt”. He shook his head and said “Choo got a tough fambly mang”. The best quote? Well, when we were discussing life under the epic stemwinder Fidel, he said
    “The ting about Fidel mang is when Fidel starts to talk, choo want to blow your brains out”.

    If jail was as fun as I experienced, a little more security might not be so bad but the general trend in this regard is not Scandinavian but more southward as in the Banana Republics of Vanishing Persons. This should be clearly understood by everyone because history demonstrates a perfect record in this regard.

  9. Lawhobbit October 25, 2007 at 4:34 pm #

    Tory, Tory, Tory – pizza delivery drivers risk their lives to bring us pizza every day, and are FAR more likely to be injured than any police officer in the nation. Let’s give respect and credit where due! 😀

  10. Jeff October 25, 2007 at 8:51 pm #

    You should take a look at the Wounded Warriors Project. It raises awareness for severely wounded combat U.S. combat veterans in Iraq and Afghanistan. It really puts a face on the cost of this war. Here’s a link:



  11. Terry October 25, 2007 at 9:01 pm #

    On Oct. 25th, crash course wrote:

    But that’s part of the point.

    Supreme Court Justice Steven’s wasn’t just spouting off when he characterized sobriety checkpoints as:

    “elaborate and disquieting publicity stunts.”

    Statistics from across the country show that roving patrols that stop drivers based upon reasonable suspicion are ten time more effective at removing drunk drivers from the road then suspicionless checkpoints.

    In addition, significantly fewer man-hours are used in the process. For a judge’s analysis on these facts, see:


    What this means is that far more drunk drivers who would have otherwise been removed from the road by roving patrols, are instead going undetected because enforcement resources are being tied up at checkpoints stopping people without any reasonable suspicion.

    The real question to ask is how many additional traffic deaths have resulted because officers were too busy harassing sober drivers 99.7% of the time at suspicionless checkpoints rather then patrolling and removing drivers from the road based upon reasonable suspicion.

    The federal agency funding these checkpoints, NHTSA, doesn’t even bother to argue that sobriety checkpoints are more efficient than other forms of policing. They just claim, without any facts to back them up, that sobriety checkpoints increase the perception that drunk drivers will be caught and hence serve as a useful deterrent.

    This is why Justice Steven’s referred to sobriety checkpoints as nothing more than publicity stunts…

  12. Tom Blanton October 25, 2007 at 9:19 pm #

    “If a roadblock saves one innocent life a year by catching people who are drunk or drugged driving I think that’s OK.”

    This line of thinking can be used to justify damn near anything and it often is. The notions of zero tolerance and eliminating all risk from life are leading to nanny-state totalitarianism.

  13. Lawhobbit October 26, 2007 at 9:50 am #

    Oooooh, Crash, bad call buddy. The various courts of appeals around the nation have ruled repeatedly that people have NO right to protection by (or from) police agencies. Care to revise your “logic,” now that that second police-state misperception (the first being that police have very dangerous jobs) has been cleared up? 😀

  14. Tory October 26, 2007 at 2:37 pm #

    A crash course on the 5th:
    Intimidating a suspect violates the suspects’ 5th amendment right to not be tortured (“…compelled to be a witness against himself.”) Evidence obtained illegally may not be allowed in court during trial (silverplatter doctrine and fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine (Wong Sun vs U.S)).

    Government is our worst enemy (police are an element of government), worse than any mugger, drunk driver, rapist, vicious animal, drug dealer, terrorist or murderer. Make government your servant, not your master.

    “Unjust laws exist !” [HDT)

    We must pass “common sense laws” that make the job of our pizza delivery drivers safer and easier (and then we will be safer, more free, and less hungry).

    Never cheer police; if we do we empower them beyond constitutional limits, and then we lose our freedom to the police (and the news media). They’ll terrorize us to keep us safe from drunk drivers and Terrorists. [:-) No fruit for you piggy.

  15. Bruce Alm November 14, 2007 at 12:26 am #

    Drunk driving. Dwi and dui. A license to drink.
    Madd, sadd, radd, A.A., and alanon/al-anon related.

    Copyright: 1987-2007 � Bruce Alm. Documentation is available upon request.

    The answer to the problem of drunk driving, etc. could be this; a permit for the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

    This would not only be a major assault on the problem of drunk driving, but would also have an effect on virtually all other crimes such as these;
    murder, rape, assault, burglary, robbery, suicide, vandalism, wife beating, child beating, child molestation, the spread of aids, college binge drinking, animal cruelty, etc., the list is endless.

    If this proposition was made law, there could be a major reduction in all these areas of concern, even though the emphasis concerning alcohol abuse seems to be drunk driving in particular.

    There could also be many other positive results;

    Families healed, better work performance, booze money spent on products that would help the economy (we’ve all heard of the guy who spends half his check in the bar on payday,) would spare many health problems, etc.

    This new law could go something like this:

    Any person found guilty of any crime where drinking was a factor would lose the right to purchase and/or consume alcoholic beverages.

    For a first misdemeanor, a three year revocation. a second misdemeanor, a ten year revocation. a third misdemeanor, a lifetime revocation. Any felony crime, an automatic lifetime revocation.
    Anyone caught drinking alcohol without a permit would receive a possible $1000 fine and/or jail sentence. those who would supply alcohol to people without a drinking permit (and possibly make money at it) would also lose his/her right to purchase alcoholic beverages.

    What wife or husband would buy an alcoholic spouse a bottle?

    What friend would give a problem drinker a drink at the possible cost of a thousand bucks and the loss of their own privilege? This could be a total discouragement to these would-be pushers.

    This permit doesn’t seem as though it would be a problem to put into effect. It could simply be a large X, (or whatever,) on the back of any driver’s license in any state, to show who has been revoked, and cannot purchase alcohol.

    Most people of drinking age have a driver’s license, but one area that might be a problem could be New York City, where many people don’t drive. This problem could be resolved, however, by a license-type ID specifically for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. All states have these already for the purpose of identification.

    This would be a small price to pay for the saved lives of thousands of Americans each and every year.

    After this, it would simply be a matter of drinking establishments checking ID’s at the time of purchase.
    In the case of crowded bars, they could simply check ID’s at the door, as they do now.

    Would this be a violation of rights?

    There can be no argument here since they already check IDs of people who look as though they may not be old enough to drink.

    This could be a good saying, “If a person who doesn’t know how to drive shouldn’t have a license to drive, a person who doesn’t know how to drink shouldn’t have a license to drink.”

    Here are some other pluses to this idea:

    A good percentage of people in correctional institutions are there because of alcohol related offences . Because of this, court, penal, and law enforcement costs could drop dramatically. The need for A.A., alanon, madd, sadd, etc., could be greatly diminished as well.

    What the alcoholic fears most, is the temptation to have that first drink, usually a spur of the moment type thing. Without the ability to do this, he/she is fairly safe. To start drinking again would almost have to be planned in advance, and to maintain steady drinking would be extremely difficult in most cases.

    Even though A.A. members as a group don’t become involved in political movements, it would seem as individuals they would all be in favor of a situation like this. Any person who wants to quit drinking, even if never having been in trouble with the law, could simply turn in their license for the non-drinking type.

    A woman from MADD, on the NBC TODAY show, said “One out of every ten Americans has a drinking problem, and that 10% consumes 60% of all alcoholic beverages sold in the U.S.” If this is true, there could be financial problems for breweries, liquor stores, bars, rehab centers, etc., as well as lawyers, massive amounts of tax revenue ‘down the drain,’ and so on. But it doesn’t seem as though anyone would have a valid argument against a proposal such as this for financial reasons. To do so would be morally wrong, and could be likened to a drug-pusher attitude.

    Even with the problems this new law could present, it still could, in one sense, be considered the simple solution to the number one drug problem in the U.S. and elsewhere. Alcoholism.


    What ever happened to the skid row drunk?

    Please note:
    There is no correlation in the above article to the advocacy of prohibition, which was as much of a worthless fiasco as the “war on drugs” is today, for all the same reasons. The email criticism has mostly been “prohibition didn’t work,” even though the word “prohibition” has not been mentioned until now.
    The argument would therefore have to be more compared as to whether or not there should be a law for people to have a driver’s license to drive, rather than as to whether or not motor vehicles should be legal, or illegal.
    These are separate issues altogether, and no connection should be made between the two.

  16. Ron November 17, 2007 at 11:50 pm #

    Where I live I encounter these checkpoints almost 2 times a month. I drive home at 1:00 am. The last one was a real show. At the highway exit they made everybody go down the intersecting road with pylons and a big flashing sign saying it was a sobriety check point. After riding about 50 ft you had to turn into a shopping center parking lot. There was about 30 police cars and the park police was running the show (the county parks are at least 5 miles away.) They asked my why I was out at night and shined a flashlight in my face. After the interview I had to exit the parking lot and had to drive to the next light make a left turn and then drive another 100 ft and make another right turn to get back on track to my original route. The stops are getting more elaborate and time consuming. They used to just stop you at the exit ramp. and have may 5 cop cars. Now it is a big show.

  17. no way Jose December 24, 2007 at 11:48 am #

    we need more check points for guys like
    you who want to hide their drugs,
    kidnap victims, illegal guns, alchol
    containers open, and wise asses who
    think all the deaths and accidents on
    the highway are non alcohol related.
    You have freedom of speech, but
    not license to stop police from
    enforcing the laws of Calif

  18. suzie April 7, 2008 at 12:01 am #

    I am a mother of 4 and I worry obout my kids all the time. If they take one drunk driver off the road then that is one drivier I don’t have to worry about ..I am proud to work with law enforcement

  19. Gerald Martin August 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

    My biggest concern today is: People are arrested and convicted of drunk driving on a daily basis, with no hesitation.
    What about people driving under the influence pot, crack, heroin, etc.
    The state of Vermont has not one police officer certified to process these people. Therefore they go free, while the guy on the way home from work, drinks a beer, and is persecuted.
    Thank you,
    Gerald Martin

  20. Kelly September 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm #

    Those with the “if it takes one drunk driver off the road it’s worth it” attitude are in my opinion missing the point.

    Citizens who are driving in a lawful manner shouldn’t be stopped, detained or otherwise scrutinized beyond normal, daily traffic observation. To force people to stop without just cause is like law enforcement saying, “You have a car–prove to me you’re not a drunk driver.” Ok officer–you have a penis, prove to ME you’re not a child molester. It’s the same (lack of) reasoning.

    You don’t give away your freedoms just because you aren’t breaking any laws. If you give away your freedoms, well…you have no freedoms.

  21. Jeffersonianideal September 12, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    Agreed. Missing the point it is. To go further, sacrificing critical constitutional rights of millions to take one drunk driver off the road is not only convoluted thinking, it guarantees a slippery slope to the violation of all individual’s rights.

    A previous comment from Jim reads: “If a roadblock saves one innocent life a year by catching people who are drunk or drugged driving I think that’s OK. The innocent/law abiding people have rights to and that includes the police protecting them against law breakers.” As an innocent; law abiding citizen I have the right to refuse government protection and accept responsibility for the safety and security of my own life. I am also an innocent; law abiding citizen who is often a designated driver because I choose to remain alcohol free. I’ll gladly take my chances with potential drunk drivers vs. government authority. I have never had a vehicle encounter with a drunk driver and I have been driving since 1978. I narrowly escaped death however, when an elderly woman on prescription medication, ran a stop sign and hit my vehicle broadside in the middle of a sunny afternoon. Where was the prescription meds checkpoint? I have also been pulled over and harassed by police several times in my life. So to echo Suzi’s thought patterns, if they take one badge heavy policeman off the road, then that is one over zealous policeman I don’t have to worry about. More intrusive laws will not assure the safety of the innocent. They will only assure a wider opening for government to enter and intrude into an innocent person’s life. New laws instantly change the formerly innocent into the new guilty; to the point where every citizen must be guilty of something. If they’re not, government just hasn’t closed enough loopholes to prohibit freedom. Give government more time and more unchecked power and you’ll soon have the leviathan state version of original sin.

    I will also strongly recommend the recent article on LewRockwell.com entitled: “Thanks To Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, I’m A Dangerous Driver.”

  22. Bill Dikant September 15, 2008 at 5:13 am #

    “Thanks to M.A.D.D. I’
    m a dangerous driver” No, thank your self. you know the rules about D.W.I. and chose to ignore them.Rockwells brain is addled, never had a loved one killed or injured by a Drunk Driver.Bout time laws were changed for the better, for too long they were way soft.Only in America is Homicide by D.W.I. is a socially acceptable, CRIME of VIOLENCE. Some advice , to avoid a D.W.I. Charge—————————————–DONT drink and Drive.
    Bill Dikant, Victim Advocate, Castleton, N.Y. 12033

  23. Jeffersonianideal September 17, 2008 at 10:31 pm #

    Obviously from your emotionally based response you did not bother to read the article. Drunk Driving laws have been changed, making them stricter and more intrusive for those who drive stone cold sober. Why does every personally traumatic experience seem to lead to a knee jerk nanny state solution? A closed and therefore uninformed mind is an inferior thing to try to think with.

  24. Andie October 19, 2008 at 5:16 pm #

    You must know the real reason for these checkpoints is nothing other than revenue production? Seatbelt fines are upwards of $500.00, uninsured drivers can pay $1000.00 and up. Bloated governments have to feed…

  25. calcheckpoint August 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    We should never drink and drive, but I still like to know where checkpoints
    will be in Orange County, San Diego, and LA. I may use calcheckpoint
    (www.twitter.com/calcheckpoint) to find out where they are Save a life,
    please retweet

  26. A check point is necessary but then i’ve seen police officer who use their authority for abuses.I think we all know about this i don’t need to elaborate more.This people must withdraw and oust to their position.I had my μεταχειρισμενα αυτοκινητα and i see to it that i’m not be offensive to the rules of the government.


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