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Sobriety Checkpoints Reveal An Added Benefit…

By Greg L | 31 December 2007 | Crime | 107 Comments

At this time of the year police frequently set up sobriety checkpoints looking for driver who pose a hazard to others by driving while intoxicated.  From the looks of an email I received this evening, there’s another hazard that the police are apparently addressing — driving without a license.

This evening the PWC police had a DUI checkpoint going on Adler Rd right above the entrance to my condo complex at Stagestone Way. I was out with my neighbor walking his dogs as we watched several cars were stopped and we saw people coming down the hill on Adler and turning around and going back up the hill to avoid the checkpoint. We also saw one hispanic man stop his vehicle and since he was boxed in, he bolted from his vehicle and jumped the fence into the woods between Adler and a subdivision off of Campaign Court. Guess the county can profit by auctioning off the vehicle he left behind. There were four squad cars doing the checkpoint and one of them took off to chase the guy who jumped the fence, don’t know if he was caught.

Now if they can only nab those folks who try to evade the checkpoints.  I wonder just how long it will take for the illegal alien lobby to decry these and call for an end to all attempts to deter drunk driving and arrest those suspected of doing so.  Don’t laugh, as I understand it’s already happened in some localities in California.

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  1. The Truth said on 31 Dec 2007 at 3:41 am:
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    What kind of a conservative actually promotes moving us closer to a police state…where our life and liberty are in the hands of the government?

    “Now if they can only nab those folks who try to evade the checkpoints.”

    This isn’t the soviet union/nazi germany yet Greg. We are free men and women…

  2. josh said on 31 Dec 2007 at 6:13 am:
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    what are you talking about? The goverment already has our lives and liberty. You pay taxes dont you? you follow laws right? The goverment is “hired” by us to take care of us. I’m not saying it needs to be a police state by any means but equating a traffic checkpoint to Nazi Germany and the Old Soviet Bloc is a little stretch. Its true in those places as well as here that the best way to avoid getting nabbed during a checkpoint is to stay calm and to act normal. You chances increase exponentially.

    However idiots that bolt from their cars and run usually have something they wish to hide. Common sense needs to introduce itself to your logic. I would most assuredly chase an idiot who bolted from a vehicle during a checkpoint. In many places they slow down checkpoints so this can happen, doesnt it stand to reason that they want to make people a little nervous? People who are nervous usually end up giving up the goose….

  3. Dolph said on 31 Dec 2007 at 6:43 am:
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    I am not sure I am totally comfortable with check points for drunks. The probable cause element is missing. It must be that libertarian streak….

  4. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 7:31 am:
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    I agree with Dolph. Checkpoints have good intentions, but propable cause is more important than good intentions. Checkpoints are the roadside equivalent of the TSA; highly visible, a pain for everybody, and largely ineffective. Anybody who’s well-versed in drunk driving will go around them. At least that’s what the drunks I know tell me.

    Better to have more roving patrol cars stopping drivers that actually are (appear to be) driving impaired. While I can’t discount the added benefit of stopping people who have no license from driving, if the purpose of the checkpoint is truly to stop drunk driving, more patrols is the way to go.

  5. josh said on 31 Dec 2007 at 9:11 am:
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    They are a pretty effective deterrant, for catching the drunks and not the only tool in the arsenal.

    yeah, the “smart” drunks avoid them, but they are still on the road and the supreme court says that they all have to be publicized and planned in advance. The checkpoints are not the only type of enforcement for DUI so they’ll be caught in other places if they are truly trashed.

    as for the probable cause, why do they need probable cause to slow you down for a minute? The supreme court seems to agree with the decision they handed down in 1990 with regard to DUI checkpoints. The police do have the authority to conduct safety checks and/or license and registration checks as well all without the “probable cause” element.

    If you have worked any law enforcement you’ll hear that most citizens say “more patrols”, I say great…but who’s gonna pay for them?

    For Rob Smalls, if you have information that backs up your contention that roadblocks are ineffective I would surely like to see them (goverment statistics preferred). While the average citizen believes they are a pain, they really are not. Just one more tool to be used to get drunks off the road.

  6. Patty said on 31 Dec 2007 at 9:23 am:
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    Sobriety checkpoints are nothing new, especially this time of year. I’ve seen state police, Fairfax County and Prince William County conduct sobriety check points. With the number of deaths caused by drunk driving, it is prudent that a jurisdiction conduct checks. I wouldn’t want my life and liberty in the hands of a drunk driver, especially one that is here illegally.

  7. Leeroy Jenkins said on 31 Dec 2007 at 9:54 am:
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    The Truth, huh.

    I’m not so sure about that handle. Nazi Germany? You are in dire need of a history lesson.

  8. Good Time Charlie said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:04 am:
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    I worked PWC police checkpoints in the 90’s on several occations. The problem with using checkpoints under the Charlie Deane administration was that they were designed to be ineffective. In a department that was always understaffed in the patrol division, there were never enough police officers to assist Special Operations in planning effective checkpoints.

    Every year, the department would conduct one checkpoint on the same day (3rd week of Dec.), at the same location (Opitz Blvd. & Rt. 1), utilizing the same tactics to allow drunk drivers to avoid entering the checkpoint. If the police conducted a real checkpoint on Route 1 during late evening hours, the operation would have lasted 10 minutes. This would have been due to high volume of drunk drivers that would have driven unsuspecting into the checkpoint. But a 10 min. operation would not have allowed the Potomac News to get enough material to cover the event for a news article. Finding this all hard to believe. The supervisor handling the checkpoint was informed through the chain-of-command that he was not allowed to use chase cars to pursue and stop drivers who make unlawful turns to avoid the checkpoint.

    I stood in line with other police officers watching numerous drivers make last second exits from the checkpoint after reading the portable VDOT message board that flashed the message, “Entering police sobriety checkpoint.” If you were drunk and approaching the checkpoint, you had several options to make turns onto other roads to avoid being arrested. While drunks fled the checkpoint, the officers stayed busy handing out professional sporting event vouchers to sober drivers thanking them for being sober.

    Once again folks, policing through perception. Since numerous officers were not busy processing drunk drivers, the checkpoint stayed open, the media got the photos they needed to accompany the story, and the enforcement through perception machine continued. If it’s a police state you’re worried about because checkpoints are being utilized, my belief is don’t worry. As long as Charlie Deane is your Police Chief it’s all window dressing.

    I received several awards from MADD for my DUI arrest numbers while employed at PWCPD. In the eyes of Chief Clueless, it only served to embarrass the county’s image as a jurisdiction that had too many drunk drivers on it’s streets, causing it to be an unsafe place to live. Trust me, it’s how his brain works. You can’t make this stuff up.

    What did our checkpoints accomplish. Charlie Deane could tell concerned citizens that he is tough on drunk driving, and uses checkpoints to prove it. His department must be tough on DUI enforcement due to the low percentage of drunk drivers that entered the checkpoint. At least……………..perception is tough on DUI drivers.

  9. Vigilant1 said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:16 am:
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    Dolph said on 31 Dec 2007 at 6:43 am:
    I am not sure I am totally comfortable with check points for drunks. The probable cause element is missing. It must be that libertarian streak….

    With 1,000 killed on Virginia roads (for various causes) so far this year, something needs to be done. Iif you can keep just one drunk off of the road and save a life or two, it is worth a small inconvenience to the public

  10. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:19 am:
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    Josh - I have my source statistics at home. I’ll post when I get my hands on them.

    As for your contention “why do they need probable cause to slow you down for a minute?” If their only purpose for slowing you down is a search of your person and vehicle for law-breaking violations, probable cause is absolutely germane to the debate. They are not just “slowing you down for a minute” for kicks. They are stopping your vehicle with the intent to search. I read the SCOTUS opinions on Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, (496 U.S. 444), and agree with the dissent. The majority ruled that the checkpoint stops and searches were “minimally intrusive” and thus not susceptible to the probable cause argument, but makes no mention of how that conclusion is reached in light of the fact that all other police seizures require “reasonable suspicion” in order to be considered a reasonable seizure. There is no reasonable suspicion in play when everyone gets pulled over.

    And as a counterpoint, do you statistics that back up your assertion that they aren’t just a nuisance? Do you have conviction records or analysis comparing pre- and post-checkpoint arrests and prosecutions?

  11. josh said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:19 am:
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    I totally agree (and so did the supreme court) the slight inconvenience experieced by people at the checkpoints is negated by the common good experienced by the community as a whole

  12. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:21 am:
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    CORR: Do you HAVE statistics…

  13. Dignidad said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:31 am:
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    Truth, you’re right, this is not the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. To add the “yet” was a little extreme. Checkpoints look for those breaking the law not those who disagree with the government.

    I have nothing against checkpoints except that I get nervous. To prevent even one death by a drunk driver, I’m more than willing to go through the nervousness and a few seconds of inconvenience.

    Even if it’s true that they only catch the amateur drinkers at checkpoints, it’s worth it. The added bonus that they catch drivers who legally should not be driving helps drive home the rule of law concept.

  14. Vigilant1 said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:33 am:
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    Good Time Charlie on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:04 am:

    Agree with your post. All dazzle and no substance. I remember a few years back when I called the police dispatcher to request some traffic control on my street. A police office soon arrived, agreed there was a speeding problem but said he could not write any citations without his supervisors permission. I asked him why this was happening and he said that the PD (Chief Deane?) had the preception that too many citations were being written and therefore the number had to be cut. I wrote a letter to Chief Deane citing my conversation with the police officer and asked for confirmation that the officer’s remarks were true. I received a call from Chief Deane (or maybe someone in his office) telling me to be “assured” that traffic enforcement was being done (he never answered my direct question as to the too many citations statement from the officer.) I was also asked for the Officer’s name who gave me the information, which of course I declined to do. I realize the police are busy but when blatent traffic violations are pointed out and nothing is done, then you begin to wonder.

  15. monticup said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:35 am:
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    I’d rather have sobriety checkpoints than redlight cameras and speed limits which are simply revenue enhancers for greedy local gov’t.

    I don’t drink and I certainly don’t drink and drive. Just this past week an innocent man and his son from Clifton were killed by a drunk on rt. 15. Tragic.

  16. Lafayette said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:49 am:
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    monticup said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:35 am:
    I’d rather have sobriety checkpoints than redlight cameras and speed limits which are simply revenue enhancers for greedy local gov’t.

    This is exactly right. Redlight cameras are a total joke, and nothing more than a “cash cow” for the jurisdictions they serve.
    Good Time Charlie,
    Thanks for your post. I’m never surprised by what I see you post for us. Always very informative. Remember, there was an elementery school student killed by a drunk driver while her mother held her hand while waiting for the school bus about 8am? This happened late 80’s/early 90’s in Vint Hill Road.
    They set up checkpoints a couple times a year at Stonewall Middle, and it’s amazing to see how many bail out on Powhatan and Urbanna to avoid the checkpoint. They clearly have something to hide. True police make even honest law abiding citizens nervous, however they still will proceed to the checkpoint.

  17. CJC said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:51 am:
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    I think the checkpoints are effective. It is another way to make the illegals uncomfortable. If it makes them nervous enough to leave . . . . .great!

  18. Good Time Charlie said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:52 am:
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    Vigilant1 on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:33

    He never answered your question on purpose. I can guarantee that Charlie Deane had communications personnel track down your phone call requesting additional enforcement. He then was able to learn the identity of the officer that responded to your request for service, order an investigation into “inappropriate public remarks” which produced enough punishment for the officer to receive the standard 1 year probation sentence after a finding of guilt for a general order violation.

    This gave Charlie Deane the ability to direct close scrutiny of the subject officer’s daily work, and find any worthless reason to end his employment in the department. If I were to place a bet on the officer’s current whereabouts, my quess is that he is currently working outside of the PWCPD. But this is only based on years of watching Charlie Deane run good cops out of his department.

  19. josh said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:54 am:
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    I doubt there are any statistics available that suggest roadblocks or checkpoints are a pain (or nuiscance). One persons “pain” is another persons “no problem” so gathering a statistic on that point is probably going to be hard to come by.

    however I’m sure there is something of a statistic on the effectiveness (pro or con) of the checkpoints in general somewhere.

  20. Dan'l said on 31 Dec 2007 at 11:38 am:
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    You have nothing to fear if:

    1) You have a valid drivers license.

    2) You do not drive if you’ve been drinking.

    3) You have nothing to hide.

    I welcome the checkpoints and hope to see more of them.

  21. IN WOODBRIDGE said on 31 Dec 2007 at 11:40 am:
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    I would think check points would be very productive and I hope we never stop this practice.

    “smart ones” always know how to get around it. Well then why is there so many in jail and appearing before the Courts?

    ’smart ones’ think they are smart but in the end they will come down. Now we just hope they won’t take an innocent life with them.

    It is better to have check points than seeing one going down the road and trying to pull them over as they take off running in the car and we can’t afford
    many police chases,at high rate of speed,as this drunk takes off and he doesn’t care how fast or where he goes.

    Lets catch them before it gets to this point.

  22. MP Resident said on 31 Dec 2007 at 11:43 am:
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    Somewhere in CA, don’t recall where, they had to stop doing sobriety checkpoints because they were catching too many “undocumented migrant workers”.

  23. Bl said on 31 Dec 2007 at 11:45 am:
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    McCain, Heckabee, all of the Democrats and the rest of the open Border pro-illegal Aliens supporters false compassion for Illegal Aliens is sicking. This Nation has 47 millions citizens without medical insurance, Million of our elderly chose between food and medicine every day. Millions of American children live in poverty with no chance at the American dream. Our vets. return from the war that came about by lies from Politicians without proper medical care or treatment. Yet they shower rewards on the Illegal Aliens, free medical, free schooling for their many children, no reward is too great for the ones that break our laws, invaded this country and demand their rights while Slaughtering, Raping and Robbing thousands of American Citizens each year. The Politicians try to get the public to believe it is their great Compassion. Bull it is the money they get from business from supplying them cheap labor with 22,000.00 worth of benefits paid each year by the tax payers on the Republican side and the welfare votes on the Democrat side. If they really are Compassion and Caring there are Millions of American Citizens that have played by the rules, payed their taxes, obeyed the laws, fought the wars and built this Nation in great need that the Politicians could use to show their Compassion but Compassion for American citizens does not get either Money or Votes for our Corrupt lying Politicians.

  24. Dolph said on 31 Dec 2007 at 11:59 am:
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    I wonder what Chief Dean thought about Trooper Carter cutting into his drunk driver quota? And how was Trooper Carter punished? NOT!

  25. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:06 pm:
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    Dan’l said on 31 Dec 2007 at 11:38 am:

    “You have nothing to fear if…”

    Nothing except the suspension of your right to 4th amendment protections, courtesy the Supreme Court circa 1990.

    As a hypothetical question, would anybody support these checkpoints if they dropped the pretense of searching primarily for intoxicated drivers and instead submitted that they were looking for any kind of criminal activity whatsoever? Since that is the net effect, and people seem to be pleased with the ancillary results of these checkpoints, why not execute a name change?

    Something tells me that support for the program would fall off significantly if such an admission were made.

  26. Bridget said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:12 pm:
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    “Redlight cameras are a joke and nothing more than a “cash cow” for the jurisdictions they serve.”

    Reminded me of this:


    Buckle Up!! 2008 is going to be one heck of a ride.

    Hope you all have a very safe and Happy New Year!!!!


  27. Dan'l said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:17 pm:
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    Rob Smalls,
    They are also looking for stolen cars, people with outstanding
    warrants, and in some cases terrorists such as the Beltway Sniper.
    I dont feel as though my 4th Amendment rights have been violated
    just because they ask for my drivers license and look to see if im
    impaired. If all you have is a burned out tail light all they will do
    is give you a ticket. (although costly nowadays)
    I have to show my ID for lots of other things, so a checkpoint
    doesnt bother me. My kids have to show ID to get into a nightclub,
    and this is not an inconvenience to them either. I asked.

  28. Good Time Charlie said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:28 pm:
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    If Trooper Carter had been a PWCPD member he would have been reassigned years before getting caught committing a violation of law. It was spelled out to the Virginia State Police that Trooper Carter was targeting women. These complaints were forwarded to his supervisors from patrol officers in PWC, jail intake officers, & several arrestees who complained of being targeted, and then suffering unwanted advances while under arrest and control of Carter. After hours of darkness, if you were in the lock-up area, with your back facing the prisoner entrance, and you heard high heels walking through the security door, you knew it was Trooper Carter scoring another potential date. Inside law enforcement circles some speculated that he was just too scared to stop men and risk a physical confrontation, while others suspected that he preferred young blonds in the bedroom.

    Don’t think for a minute that forces outside the VSP did not attempt to stop him from sitting in well lighted areas while running radar, and using 5 MPH over the speed limit as the probable cause for stopping these women. VSP loves numbers, and Carter gave them all they wanted. In this case it forced the VSP chain-of-command to ignore the obvious.

  29. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:40 pm:
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    Dan’l - I can appreciate what the police are trying to do, but warrantless search and seizure is a poor way to conduct business where civil liberties are supposed to be prized. If you don’t feel like your rights are violated - that it’s no big deal all you have to do is flash and ID and be on your way - that’s your opinion. However, the fact is I cannot refuse the police’s request without being arrested, and I consider that a violation of my rights since I was not detained with probable cause. If I have a burned out tail-light, pull me over and cite me. But stopping my vehicle to perform an inspection of my person without cause is wrong.

    Your kids aren’t inconvenienced to have to show ID to get into clubs? So what? That’s the difference between public and private property. I can’t enter someone else’s private property without satisfying their requirements. I do have the choice no to patronize their property. When I’m in public, on public property like roads and sidewalks, the government is in charge. I have no choice about whether they will hold purview over my actions. And the Constitution places limits on how they are able to conduct business regarding my rights. At least one of those limits is nullified when sobriety checkpoints are established.

    If it’s no inconvenience to you, then bully for you. Would you feel the same if they were searching homes in crime-ridden neighborhoods without warrants, looking for infractions to fine and arrest? If it’s all for the safety of the public, I suspect you wouldn’t. The problem with that argument is this - You can’t pass enough laws to keep absolutely everybody safe from everybody else. The moment you start, you will never stop. And all those laws will do is choke us off from our freedom.

  30. park'd said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:42 pm:
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    They should only be allowed to nab people for drunk driving if that is what the checkpoint is for. Using the opportunity to cite people for expired stickers, broken tail lights or tinted windows is what gives these things a bad name. If they happen to find evidence of another crime (which is doubtful let’s face it) then great, but they shouldn’t be using these things as revenue generating machines to write tickets to law-abiding citizens who may happen to have an expired inspection sticker. If you’re out looking for drunks, then drunks it ought to stay.

    I think they are very useful tools that if used (and used correctly and ethically) to catch even a single drunk, have proven their worth.

  31. Good Time Charlie said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:47 pm:
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    While conducting checkpoints……regardless of the time of day, focus, or location, police will find wanted subjects, drugs, guns, drunks, sex offenders committing violations of parole…………if it’s illegal you can finding while conducting checkpoints. You just have to be aggressive enough to look for it.

  32. mnd said on 31 Dec 2007 at 12:50 pm:
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    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  33. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 1:01 pm:
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    Although I disagree with checkpoints as a whole, I agree with the assessment park’d provided. If they are to be implemented, stick to drunk driving violations, and not simple violations like seatbelts, expired registrations and broken headlamps. It’s the making of a free-for-all fundraiser when these things are established. Look at the numbers here for Delaware:


    Less than 15% of the arrests in 2007 were for DUI. The rest range from serious criminals to people not wearing a seatbelt. 58% of the total arrests are for “Other Traffic Arrests”.

  34. Dolph said on 31 Dec 2007 at 1:13 pm:
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    Thanks for that bit of insight. Trooper Carter should have gone to prison. I feel he got a slap on the wrist.

    He was an extreme abuser of probably cause.

  35. CitizenofManassas said on 31 Dec 2007 at 1:28 pm:
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    Driving is a privilege not a right. Car tags, and licenses are owned by the Commonwealth on loan to you. If one does not want to be subjected to checkpoints, you are free to not have a license to drive.

  36. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 1:37 pm:
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    You’re absolutely right, CoM. Driving is a privilege. Car tags and licenses are owned by the Commonwealth. However, having those things is not contingent on the revocation of the Bill of Rights. Telling anyone who rails against checkpoints that they are free not to drive is an oft-repeated platitude. I suppose if my home was routinely being searched without a warrant (but for the safety of the community) you would offer the sage advice of telling me I’m free not to buy property.

  37. Dignidad said on 31 Dec 2007 at 1:38 pm:
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    I don’t feel essential liberty is given up in a checkpoint and I feel it’s a good thing that they look for other things. Maybe someone who gets a ticket for not buckling in their child will start making a habit of it. No real harm other than some people end up suffering the inconvenience of a ticket.

  38. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 1:45 pm:
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    Dignidad - Would you feel the same way if this method wasn’t used in checkpoints, but in roving patrol cars, pulling people over without reasonable suspicion? All the benefits you cited would still be in play, with no real harm but the inconvenience of tickets, right?

  39. Leeroy Jenkins said on 31 Dec 2007 at 1:52 pm:
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    Interesting, we could make up any scenario, couldn’t we? You could “what if it were this way” all day long. Checkpoints have been around for ages, and the only folks who need to fear them are those who are doing something they shouldn’t be doing….period.

  40. Dolph said on 31 Dec 2007 at 1:55 pm:
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    Rob Smalls,

    I am in total agreement with you. I have seen police powers abused around this area….roving patrol cars making up a bogus reason for pulling you over. Neither to me is acceptable.

    In my case, it was ‘profiling’ women out too late at night. Oh yea, speeding…yea thats the ticket…(NOT). I ended up failing the dog and pony part of the sobriety test because I was freezing and standing on a solid sheet of ice. The cop was furious when I got to the breathalizer and blew 0.00 as I knew I would. (and no it wasn’t Trooper Carter)

    Maybe men never noticed it but women who are ‘out too late’ are assumed to be coming from bars and are assumed to be intoxicated. This has been going on for years in Prince William County.

  41. Anne said on 31 Dec 2007 at 2:16 pm:
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    Having encountered numerous sobriety checkpoints and having never been stopped by a police offer, ever - I guess they must be eyeballing the drivers somehow to determine who looks like a candidate for the “drunk tank?” Now, I actually don’t drink (just don’t like to) and I tend to keep within my lane, off my cell phone, and close enough to the speed limit that I’m guesing I’m not worth a cop’s time. Is it my good luck in not having been delayed for no good reason? - or have they just not been interested in me because they can see that I’m clearly sober? Are they looking for behavior or are they being random, and I’ve just managed to miss the random selection of these checkpoints somehow?

  42. Anne said on 31 Dec 2007 at 2:16 pm:
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    I mean officer.

  43. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 2:22 pm:
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    Leeroy Jenkins said on 31 Dec 2007 at 1:52 pm:
    “Checkpoints have been around for ages, and the only folks who need to fear them are those who are doing something they shouldn’t be doing….period.”

    And those that value the liberty ensconced in the Constitution. But I suppose if you’re going to give it away to catch people who drive drunk, don’t wear their seatbelts or renew their registrations in a timely fashion, I’ll not be the one to dissuade you. As far as making up any scenario we want to, which scenario is too far off base? They all seem plausible to me, if the disregard of civil liberties is as strong as it appears to be.

    Dolph: That’s exactly the point I’ve been trying to make. People always gripe and bitch about being pulled over for no (or next to no) reason. However, few ever see a problem if the same scenario is played out in a “Checkpoint” format.

  44. Advocator said on 31 Dec 2007 at 2:38 pm:
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    Female cops are always stopping me in my little sports car.

  45. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 2:49 pm:
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    LOL Advocator

  46. Vigilant1 said on 31 Dec 2007 at 2:57 pm:
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    Good Time Charlie said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:52 am:
    Vigilant1 on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:33

    He never answered your question on purpose.

    Never even gave it a though about them checking back on my call-in to see who responded to the call. I truly hope the officer experienced no grief. He said he was stating a fact and his hands were tied. I know that Chief Deane purpously avoided my direct question and provided a generic response. I was not about to argue with him. It’s a shame the the COP is not an elected position. He would be long gone!

  47. /\/\3|)iç 64 (Winner of the BVBL 40k post award) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 3:23 pm:
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    Probably because of your good looks Advocator (c;

    DISCALIMER: I have never met nor do I know Advocator, therefore I do not know if he is a good looking person or not. Hence, he may not be and the female officers in question just want to make sure what they saw was real or, as equally important, what they thought they saw was real. Maybe they wanted verification of the old saying about men and their anatomy and red sports cars. One must be left to wonder at the possibilities.

  48. /\/\3|)iç 64 (Winner of the BVBL 40k post award) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 3:26 pm:
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    To all: Happy new year and be responsible this evening. If you have to drink this evening, do all a favor and leave your keys at the door with the host. Most cabs will give a ride for free or reduced fee. Please be kind to others on the road and do not subject them to your antics. Drink responsibly!!

  49. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 3:45 pm:
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    Thanks Doc! You too!

  50. CitizenofManassas said on 31 Dec 2007 at 4:13 pm:
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    Of course because driving is a privilege, there is nothing in the Bill of Rights or Constitution regarding it. If an officer is found to be in violation of someone’s civil rights, there usually is a complaint made, an investigation and a conclusion.

    Owning property, and driving are two very different things, and there really is no comparison to made between them.

    When you buy a ticket to a sporting event, you are bound by the rules listed on the ticket. Same as when you obtain a driver’s license you must abide by the rules. I suppose one could make an argument there should not be a speed limit since it appears to infringe on the right to go as fast as you would like. But, common sense says otherwise.

    Having drunk check points is not a symptom of an overbearing Government. It is a public safety tool done to make the roads safer. I hardly doubt we are anywhere close to morphing into the old Soviet Union because of them.

  51. AWCheney said on 31 Dec 2007 at 4:25 pm:
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    Rob, they DO NOT search cars at checkpoints unless they DO have probable cause (unlike Manassas Park). Driver’s license checkpoints were actually much more common many years ago than they are today. I can remember them when I was in High School at Brentsville District (MANY years ago), and they were no big deal. They in fact outnumbered sobriety checkpoints because, back in the day, the police policy was to actually advertise during festive “drinking” holidays that the police departments were offering rides home for impaired drivers…and they really did it. It was viewed as a “good neighbor” policy, and made the police VERY popular. Eventually it became rather impractical, for obvious reasons…hence the onset of sobriety checkpoints. I don’t understand what the big deal is here.

  52. independent thinker said on 31 Dec 2007 at 4:26 pm:
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    Excellent points Rob Smalls!

  53. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 4:38 pm:
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    CitizenofManassas said on 31 Dec 2007 at 4:13 pm:

    “Owning property, and driving are two very different things, and there really is no comparison to made between them.”

    The comparison isn’t to be made between driving and owning property. It’s between warrantless searches of a home versus a vehicle. Both are my property, but one seems to be subject to 4th amendment protection and the other does not. Can you make the comparison now?

    A ticket to a sporting event is a private function. A driver’s license is a state-issued identification conferring the privilege to operate a motor vehicle. A private function can give me option of service for rights that I voluntarily give up. I have to submit to a search of my person if I want to get into the arena, and I have to leave my firearm in the car even if I’m licensed to carry concealed. I might not be allowed to bring in food or alcohol, which is perfectly legal out in the street. If it’s private property, it’s their rules. I have a choice to abide by their rules or leave. No such option exists in the public arena. The government can’t forbid me a weapon (without reasonable cause), can’t forbid me my own food or alcohol, and can’t submit me to searches without my consent or propable cause.

    Your speed limit analogy is a canard, as there is no right to go as fast as you please (on public property), but there is a 4th amendment protecting your right from unlawful search and seizure. That’s what my common sense tell me.

    I don’t think we’re anywhere near approaching a police state. To say so would be an affront to people who are truly subjugated by their government, a la North Korea. But I don’t think the whittling of our civil liberties in the name of public safety takes us any further away from that threat, particularly with eager activists and politicians who are hell bent from saving us from ourselves and each other.

  54. Dolph said on 31 Dec 2007 at 4:49 pm:
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    Rob Smalls,

    Some people apparently don’t mind just giving it away. It really bothers me. Checkpoints are stopping EVERYone regardless of behavior to see if they have done something wrong. I fail to see why others aren’t offended.


    I thought it was the horsewomen who stopped that sports car;)

    General comments:

    I rarely drink but I have had some encounters that have shown me what pigs and trash are out there who have complete control over your life. Trooper Carter comes to mind. He wasn’t involved in the dog and pony scenario I described earlier, but I have had close encounters with him…not being the driver. Rude, nasty, abusive, abuse of power, the list goes on. I am not willing to give up my rights like that.

  55. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 4:53 pm:
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    AWCheney -

    The big deal is that people are satisfied letting the government and the courts chip away at existing, fundamental rights to purchase a veneer of public safety. Your property rights are yours, until you give them away to the government. Most people think this is just a niggling point. They acquiesce because they believe it betters public safety. But government’s natural tendency is to grow. Taxes, regulation, federal codes, it always gets bigger, and more obtrusive. The Bill of Rights was supposed to be the first guard against things like this, but we’ve given it away for the comfort of knowing a percentage of thousands of drunk drivers might be convicted. What security will we give it away for next?

  56. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 4:57 pm:
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    Dolph - I don’t expect to change many minds here. Not that the readership isn’t open to ideas, but I don’t think anybody takes it as seriously as they should.

  57. cerberus12 said on 31 Dec 2007 at 5:08 pm:
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    I agree with Rob Smalls 100 percent. Whether we are walking in the mall or driving on the road, the Constitution prohibits the police from arbitrarily and randomly stopping any one of us, demanding “papers, please.” Checkpoints ARE unconstitutional!

    AWCheney - you are wrong about the police not searching your car at a checkpoint. They search everyone’s car at checkpoints. Ever hear of a visual search? Even my nine-year old knows (from a steady diet of Law and Order) that anything in plain sight is fair game for the cops.

  58. CitizenofManassas said on 31 Dec 2007 at 5:21 pm:
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    If you don’t want to abide by the rules do not drive, period. Why should not one be able to speed as fast as they want? Just because it is on public property should not matter. I suppose you would also agree that we should be limited to what we can eat on public property too?

    And yes the sporting event and driving is a good comparison. You have purchased an item for loan, and you must abide by the rules or you risk revocation of the ticket(getting kicked out of the event) or the revocation of the license(meaning you are not allowed by law to drive).

    Cerb, again do you understand the difference between a right and a privilege? Demanding papers is not against the law, you are simply holding up your end of the bargain when you are asked to produce a license that you do not own.

    There is not a whittling away of any rights during a check point.

  59. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 5:41 pm:
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    CoM - I’ll gladly abide the rules that don’t run counter to the Bill of Rights. Speed limits aren’t in there. Search and seizure is. I have no idea what your point is with eating on public property, provided you had one.

    And again, a sporting event and driving are only valid as comparisons of public and private limitations on rights. A sporting event doesn’t force me to give up my rights. Government does.

    If you don’t believe that checkpoints whittle away our rights, I’d advise you to read the Supreme Court ruling “Michigan State Police vs. Sitz” (1990). Even the majority opinion concedes that it’s an encroachment on our rights, but justified in the context of public safety.

  60. AWCheney said on 31 Dec 2007 at 5:53 pm:
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    “Ever hear of a visual search? Even my nine-year old knows (from a steady diet of Law and Order) that anything in plain sight is fair game for the cops.”

    That’s right Rob (and don’t get fresh with me kid), “in plain sight” happens to constitute probable cause…so what’s your point?

  61. MP Resident said on 31 Dec 2007 at 6:18 pm:
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    “Rob, they DO NOT search cars at checkpoints unless they DO have probable cause (unlike Manassas Park).”

    Fact is an officer can search your car without probable cause if you give him permission to do so.

    And most people do.

  62. Bridget said on 31 Dec 2007 at 6:42 pm:
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    And the fact remains that most people forget, or do not realize that they have the right to refuse if police ask to search.

  63. Bayberry resident said on 31 Dec 2007 at 7:19 pm:
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    I never thought I would see the day when what appear to be good citizens complaining about checkpoints. You are the same people who complain about the gov’t not getting terrorist and then complain when they try new ways. Yes, I know your going to say it isn’t worth you civil rights, but I am willing to bet the families of the 9/11 victims would be willing to give up a few civil rights for the extra security. The check points are no different and if you want to stay safe from dangerous citizens and illegal aliens then we will have to put up with a little interruption in our daily habits. I say great job and lets have more and if they want to search my car, go for it because I have nothing to hide.

  64. Bridget said on 31 Dec 2007 at 7:44 pm:
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  65. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 7:47 pm:
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    AWCheney - I didn’t make the point you’re rebutting.

    MP Resident - I’m talking about the government taking my rights, not about giving them up. I don’t have a choice as to whether I can stop at a checkpoint or not. Stopping at a checkpoint is a defacto visual search and seizure. That’s the point I’m making.

    Bayberry - I never thought I’d see the day I was marginalized for stating the obvious. The families of the 9/11 victims can give up any rights they want, except mine. You want to have your car/home/person searched, flag down the nearest cop and see if they have the time. Checkpoints aren’t saving me from dangerous citizens any more than police patrols or your standard roadside pullover. If I’m wrong, show me.

  66. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 7:58 pm:
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    Bridget - Excellent link. However, it does not address my main point, that is, that sobriety checkpoints inherently counter the protections of the 4th amendment, as they are a defacto vehicle for search and seizure without probable cause.

  67. ateacher said on 31 Dec 2007 at 8:00 pm:
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    Like Dolph, I had a friend of mine during our college years in Fredericksburg that was pulled over not because he was driving impaired, but because a passenger was puking out the window as he (totally sober) was the designated driver. The cops made the driver get out, and put him thru the paces before they had him blow…score 0.00. They, the cops then decided that they needed to search the car, so the very rattled driver said okay. The backseat passengers exited the vehicle and were promptly arrested for being drunk in public. I on the other hand told the cops “I will not exit this vehicle as you will arrest me too. You may search me, my purse, and around me, but I refuse to exit.” One female got up in my face and told me I had to exit. I told her that I entered the vehicle in good faith, I was of age to drink, that he was the designated driver, and he was sober, and her commands to me smacked of entrapment, and if she needed me to be removed, she needed to do so by force “and show good cause”. They left me in the car, though I was well searched. But the driver and I went home that night. The other two required bail.

  68. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 8:07 pm:
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    For josh, as promised:



  69. Justbelegalfirst said on 31 Dec 2007 at 8:08 pm:
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    A Teacher….fYI…being in a car is being in “public”. You can be arrested for Intoxicated in Public while riding in a vehicle.

  70. Bridget said on 31 Dec 2007 at 8:11 pm:
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    Rob - This still falls short but I continue to dig …


  71. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 8:18 pm:
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    Thanks Bridget. That’s a pretty great site!

  72. AWCheney said on 31 Dec 2007 at 8:34 pm:
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    Justbelegalfirst said on 31 Dec 2007 at 8:08 pm:
    “A Teacher….fYI…being in a car is being in “public”. You can be arrested for Intoxicated in Public while riding in a vehicle.”

    Not true…the automobile is private property and, unless there is another violation of the law (ie. dui or other probable cause), one is not “drunk in public” while merely a passenger in the vehicle. Of course, I could see where someone “puking out the window” could technically be guilty of littering.

  73. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 31 Dec 2007 at 8:40 pm:
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    I think AWCheney is correct. The VA codes governing public disturbance talk only to public transportation and conveyance, not private property.

  74. Justbelegalfirst said on 31 Dec 2007 at 9:32 pm:
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    AWCheney, you are wrong. If you are a passenger in a vehicle and are intoxicated and its stopped for ANY reason (legal of course) you CAN be arrested for IIP (Drunk in Public). The “private property” rule does not apply to any vehicle on the road in this instance - no such defense. If anyone is outside of their house (even if its their own front yard) they can be arrested for Intoxicated in Public. The term “public” is applied only if you are inside your residence or inside a residence as a legitimate guest (someone else’s house). Under your reasoning, some one inside a 7/11 (a private business) could not be arrested for being drunk in public and they can.

  75. Justbelegalfirst said on 31 Dec 2007 at 9:33 pm:
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    Correction…the word “private is only applied i fyou are inside your residence or as a legitimate guest at someone else’s residence”.

  76. MP Resident said on 31 Dec 2007 at 9:34 pm:
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    “MP Resident - I’m talking about the government taking my rights, not about giving them up. I don’t have a choice as to whether I can stop at a checkpoint or not. Stopping at a checkpoint is a defacto visual search and seizure. That’s the point I’m making.”

    You do have a choice at the checkpoint as to how you answer the question of “may I search your vehicle”, same as any other traffic stop.

    Most answer “yes” to that question, out of ignorance or fear.

    That’s the point I’m making.

  77. Justbelegalfirst said on 31 Dec 2007 at 9:52 pm:
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    Rob Smalls, Drunk in Public has nothing to do with “public disturbance”. Being intoxicated in public is its own County code section. The PD charge it all the time. As long as a person is not INSIDE a private residence, they are subject to arrest for IIP.

  78. AWCheney said on 31 Dec 2007 at 10:06 pm:
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    “Under your reasoning, some one inside a 7/11 (a private business) could not be arrested for being drunk in public and they can.”

    Apples to oranges, Justbelegalfirst…the 7/11 could only be considered a “private business” if it is open to members only and not to the general public. Insofar as being intoxicated in your yard, unless you have violated some other law (noise ordinance, lewdness, etc.), which would give the police the right to go onto the private property (probable cause), the police would have absolutely no right to violate that private property, not without your permission at least. Now, with regard to a PRIVATE vehicle, it is also sovereign unless other probable cause exists, or permission is granted by the owner allowing police to enter the property (dumb thing to do). A really good example of the extreme nature of this is that vehicles with diplomatic tags are treated as foreign soil just as surely as though they were embassies or consulates.

  79. Dolph said on 1 Jan 2008 at 1:03 am:
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    Interesting differences of opinion. Think I will stay OUT of cars!

    Happy New Year Everyone.


  80. junes_reston said on 1 Jan 2008 at 11:32 am:
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    If a checkpoint, which some say is a Nazi type invasion of life, liberty and pursuit of “whatever,” is instrumental in removing from the road those drivers who can wipe out a friend, family member, or entire family, then I’m willing to give up that little piece of “whatever.”

  81. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 1 Jan 2008 at 1:31 pm:
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    Justbelegal - I’ll defer to you if you know you’re right, because I’m not sure. It doesn’t seem to make much sense to me, though. Wouldn’t police be pulling over any vehicle (including cabs) leaving a bar and arresting the passengers for public intoxication if your intepretation is accurate?

    Junes - If you wish to give it up, that’s your prerogative. But when it’s taken from all of us, don’t expect those who disagree to do so quietly.

  82. Dolph said on 1 Jan 2008 at 3:49 pm:
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    Good points on all fronts Rob. I am not willing to give it up.

    If JBL is correct, that sort of does away with the designated driver idea. So much for those free cab rides on special holidays.

  83. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 1 Jan 2008 at 5:05 pm:
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    Thanks Dolph. A submariner can always count on a dolphin. :)

  84. Dolph said on 1 Jan 2008 at 7:24 pm:
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  85. Good Time Charlie said on 1 Jan 2008 at 11:00 pm:
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    There is a landmark Supreme Court case that allows police officers to search vehicles based on “unique mobility of the property.” What does that mean? Police can search your vehicle (1) incident to arrest in any area with immediate reach of the arrestee, (2) inventory searches during administrative impound-usually after arrest, (3) permission from the owner, (4) seize contraband within plain view of the officer.

    To clarify the drunk in public (DIP) debate. If you are riding in a vehicle on a public highway or private property open to the general public (i.e. shopping centers), you are deemed to be in public, and a police officer can arrest you after demanding that you exit the vehicle. Sounds wrong? A good example of why law enforcement has the right to detain you in this situation………..A police officer stops a intoxicated driver, and pursuant to the traffic stop a DUI arrest is made.

    What do you do with the passenger who is intoxicated? Leave him in the vehicle because he refused your request to step out so the vehicle could be impounded? No……..of course not. As soon as the police left the DIP on the highway alone his condition represents a danger to himself. It is the responsibility of law enforcement to safeguard that person. What if the person wondered into the road and was struck by a car? It would be the fault of the officer for not filling his duty as a “caregiver” as defined by Code of Virginia . There are civil cases resulting in judgement against jurisdictions after drunks were left behind by the police and harm came them.

    I made at least 50-75 DUI arrests involving drunk passengers. What did I do? If they were not abusive or violent I had dispatch contact the cab company to respond and give them a ride home. DIP is a class 4 misdemeanor and the only time someone gets arrested for it involves disorderly conduct (usually bar fights), or so intoxicated that leaving them in public will result in harm to them (victim of robberies, assaults, accidents, exposure to elements). It is simply used as a measure to keep someone safe or solve a disorderly incident. If you get arrested for DIP………you screwed yourself. Police officers HATE making this arrest. Trust me……..when officers have the daily backlog of 30-45 calls to answer in their area, nobody wearing a badge wants to lock-up a DIP unless nothing else will solve an immediate problem they are forced to deal with. Backup officers on DUI stops also transport DIP passengers to a safe location instead of arresting them on a nightly basis.

    Every case of drunk in public I brought to court was convicted involving being the intoxicated passenger in a vehicle. And I can’t remember ever wanting to make the arrest. And I worked alot of night shiftwork. If this law was not in place the police would not be able to keep the peace. It is a situation that PWC patrol officers encounter everyday.

  86. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 2 Jan 2008 at 7:43 am:
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    Thanks for the DIP clarification, Charlie.

  87. CitizenofManassas said on 2 Jan 2008 at 7:52 am:
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    You think speed limits are just fine since we are driving on public property. So, I said I suppose you also think there should be limits on how much one can eat on public property.

    The Supreme Court at one time also said slavery was fine. We have not given up any rights due to check points.

    Again, if you do not want to be subjected to check points, you are free to not get a license. Just get a state issued ID card and use that when needed.

  88. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 2 Jan 2008 at 11:36 am:
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    CoM - I said speed limits are fine with me because they do not breach constitutional protections, unlike sobriety checkpoints. That said, your “eating in public” argument is a straw man and nothing else.

    That the Supreme Court issued its horrendous Dred Scott vs. Sandford decision regarding slavery only bolsters my point that they are capable of making wrong-headed decisions regarding our Constitutional freedoms. In that case, it was slaves on the receiving end of their error. In the Sitz case, it was anyone who drives in states that institute checkpoints. If you still don’t think we had a portion of our 4th amendment rights taken from us in that instance, I strongly urge you to read the majority and dissenting opinions in that case (linked above). Both parties acknowledge the breach. That you don’t still baffles me.

    Again with the “free not to get a license” line. Hey, since you don’t like the US government’s handling and implementation of federal immigration laws and policies, you’re free to move to another country. But I doubt that you would or should. Don’t tell me that since my rights are violated, I’m free simply to excise that portion of my life if I don’t like it. That’s a lazy argument, and one that I’m frankly tired of responding to. Would you tell me to quit my job if I complained about my federal income tax rate too?

  89. anonymous coward said on 2 Jan 2008 at 1:36 pm:
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    Meester Leteeek. Ju know where eees my car?

  90. anonymous coward said on 2 Jan 2008 at 1:37 pm:
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    Thees ees why I drive an old Burro. Ole!

  91. CitizenofManassas said on 2 Jan 2008 at 1:55 pm:
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    You still do not get it. When you obtain a drivers license, you agree to abide by all the rules that go along with driving. You agree the speed limit is not a right, but a law we must follow, so why do you get worked up over a check point? You also seem to not understand how often your plates and information is possibly checked by law enforcement. When you are stopped at a red light sitting in front of a police officer, it is very likely your plate will be run by that officer. Have your rights been violated?

    The Supreme Court can and has changed their opinions on the same issue. You pointed to a supreme court ruling, I just counted that could change in the future.

    Getting upset with immigration policy and abiding by rules of something that is not a right(driving) are two different things. The Governement has the responsibility to protect us from foreign powers.

  92. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 2 Jan 2008 at 2:32 pm:
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    CoM: Who doesn’t get it here?

    If a cop pulls me over without probable cause, that’s a violation of my constitutional rights. No one here disputes that. But if they do the same thing with a checkpoint, somehow it’s not? Because the Supreme Court says so, what is obviously unconstitutional is now legally defensible. If a cop runs my plate while I sit at a red light, I haven’t been subjected to any seizure, only a public domain seach, which is fine. But if said cop pulls me over JUST to run my tag, without any probable cause, that’s the definition of seizure, and it’s unconstitutional. So the moment I have to stop for a checkpoint, I have been subjected to seizure, and without probable cause. That’s my argument, and you’ve been blithely ignoring it during this debate.

    You still seem to think that I believe driving is a right. If you’ve actually read my posts, I readily concede that it is not. But the 4th amendment IS a right, and the rules of sobriety checkpoints - which I must abide in the course of operating a vehicle or risk arrest - clearly contravene that right, per the very opinions of the Supreme Court in MSP vs. Sitz which legalized that rule. So if I exercise my constitutional rights against defacto search and seizure and blow through the checkpoint, I’ll get arrested. If I exercise my rights, as granted in the Bill of Rights, I will get arrested. That’s what makes it unconstitutional.

    You said the government has the responsibility to protect us from foreign powers. They also have the responsibility to respect our rights as framed in the Constitution. Rights that exist solely to protect citizens from their government. Taking those rights away for public safety is inexcusable. Only I can give up my rights, and only that government can take them away.

  93. AWCheney said on 2 Jan 2008 at 2:41 pm:
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    “A police officer stops a intoxicated driver, and pursuant to the traffic stop a DUI arrest is made.”

    Thanks for making my point from a professional perspective GTC…as I said, there must be another violation involved, such as DUI, before a passenger can be arrested for DIP. THAT’S why you have “designated drivers!”

  94. CitizenofManassas said on 2 Jan 2008 at 4:21 pm:
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    What is so hard to understand? You have rules to follow when you have a driver license and you drive, not some of the rules, not most of the rules, but all the rules. You are bound by the rules and regulations when you obtain the license. You must obey a police order(pull over to the side of the road) even in a non drunk check point, if the cop tells you to pull over, you better pull over, or you risk running afoul of the law. Just as the State the Police have a right to enforce speed limits, they have the right to conduct drunk check points.

    What about the check points for county stickers and or inspection stickers? Is that an abuse of your “rights”? Or, are the police just doing their jobs?

    Again, I go back to the fact the Supreme Court ruled at one time Slavery was legal. Just because one court held that opinion, does not mean that opinion stands for all time. Just as what the court said about check points.

  95. Anonymous said on 2 Jan 2008 at 5:49 pm:
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    This is a fascinating discussion… but I am kind of interested in some of the concern about checkpoints. I guess if I saw any sign of abuse - people who aren’t doing something at least vaguely looking like they might be under the influence getting stopped - then I’d be concerned. The people I see cops getting look like they ought to be gotten.

    I’ve driven by several checkpoints, never been stopped and I’m a cute chick at that ;-) and I think it has something to do with being law abiding and not weaving around the road.

    Of course, I’ve noticed the DC metro area has some of the rudest drivers I’ve ever encountered. Turn signals don’t matter, cell phones must always be appended to heads, makeup must be applied while merging, and cars must be used as if weapons to muscle one’s way along through crosswalks. Don’t get me started on y’all damned southerners in winter. I guess the cops can probably tell the drunk from the sober, but I find it all to be a big headscratching exercise.

  96. Anne said on 2 Jan 2008 at 5:52 pm:
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    Oops I forgot to sign my post.

  97. CitizenofManassas said on 2 Jan 2008 at 6:53 pm:
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    I would also add there are laws against cell phone use and texting while driving. Are we having our rights(speech) trampled on because of these law?

  98. Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 3 Jan 2008 at 1:11 am:
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    I think I finally understand why we can’t seem to figure each other out. It’s clearly because you haven’t the vaguest understanding that the rules you dearly love to repeat yourself about are not allowed to contravene our rights per the Constitution. (Or “rights”, as you so glibly put it, which provides great insight into your half of this discussion.) Why else can you not understand my displeasure at the Supreme Court putting safety before fundamental rights? Why else could you fail to contemplate that probable cause is wholly disregarded at sobriety checkpoints, despite the fact that I bring it up in every rebuttal I offer?

    I don’t blame the police for any of this. I blame politicians who purchase a semblance of safety at the expense of liberty, and the police are unfortunately the face of the situation as the hand of the law. I also blame the Supreme Court, who validated that purchase and allowed it to continue into perpetuity. I doubt the Court will ever revisit the decision; as evidenced here, a pliant citizenry doesn’t much concern themselves with the liberty they have lost, provided it lets them feel safer.

    I’ve never heard of or seen checkpoints for county or inspection stickers. That being said, I can’t speak to them, though I doubt they have ever had a constitutional review by the premier jurists in the country.

    Considering that freedom of speech is generally exercised to more than just an audience of one, I’d hardly reason that restricting cell phone use and texting while driving is an abridgement of free speech rights, particularly when all you have to do if pull the wheel right and hit the brake to a stop, at which point you can hold your free speech conversation. The safety concern is much more obvious, since the great majority of automobile accidents occur due to driver distractions, like reading, texting and phoning. But again, I’ll close with deference to my core point, since you ignored it the first 6+ times I posted: There is no constitutionally-protected right to phone calls, while driving or otherwise. There is a constitutionally-protected right to probable cause before any government search and seizure, like a sobriety checkpoint.

  99. Vigilant1 said on 3 Jan 2008 at 9:29 am:
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    Rob Smalls (Inspiration of the BVBL 40K Post) said on 3 Jan 2008 at 1:11 am:
    I’ve never heard of or seen checkpoints for county or inspection stickers.

    The county used to check for valid county stickers about 15 days after they went into effect. Police would stand by a STOP sign on my street and check every vehicle that stopped. It was a “captive” audience. Haven’t seen this in years now. I guess it is too much trouble and it would mean that a citation would have to be issued for non-compliance. Heaven forbid that the law be inforced!

  100. Anne said on 3 Jan 2008 at 11:17 am:
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    Citizen of Manassas, I know you were being tongue in cheek, but yes, indeed you can have laws against cell phone use and texting while driving. Two basic reasons : 1) the purpose of the law is not to restrict the content of speech, but to prevent accidents caused by distracted drivers and 2) you can have reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on speech. I think the old “yell fire in the crowded theatre” scenario has become the “harried text messaging lunatic in the car” scenario in more modern life. ;-)

  101. CitizenofManassas said on 3 Jan 2008 at 1:53 pm:
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    You simply do not grasp at all do you? Exactly how long have you been in this area? If you have never come across a sticker check point, you simply have not been around here for too long, or have not been driving for many years.

    You simply are reaching, you don’t mind restrictions on speech, or speed, but sure enough when it comes to public safety and drinking, well by gosh, we are having our rights trampled on.

    You have to be kidding.

    Again, what the Supreme Court said ten years ago may very be different then what they would say today. That being said, the fact drunk check points are still on going speaks very loudly to how weak of an argument it is that you have to point up a Surpreme Court ruling that gets zero respect. The fact the ACLU who does not need a reason to go after Government does not seem to have a problem with them is another sign your argument is weak and pretty much moot. You sign up to drive, you have to obey the rules, simple and to the point. If you do not want to, then do not drive.

    Again, how is a drunk stop a search? I would think if a cop was next to you at a red light, and they looked into your car, that would qualify under your opinion as being an illegal search. Dang, our rights are being abused!!


    Of course I agree with you. But, by golly if we can prevent accidents and deaths by drunk drivers, we should not have check points, we should just wait for the accidents to happen and see if something can be done at that point.

  102. The Patriot (Got E-Verify?) said on 3 Jan 2008 at 6:32 pm:
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    I am all up for checkpoints. Random checkpoints at all times. If you are legal and doing nothing wrong it should be a piece of cake. If you are not legal and/or doing something wrong it will be a nightmare! It will help to find those individuals that do not have a legit driver’s license, insurance too. I have gone through a checkpoint before and it is no big deal (provided you are legal and doing nothing wrong).

  103. CitizenofManassas said on 3 Jan 2008 at 7:32 pm:
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    Furthermore, I think we can all agree that when there is abuse or rights violations going on, such as when the “Manassas 7″ were mistreated by the City of Manassas Police Dept, people showed up at the City Council meetings and voiced their displeasure.

  104. The Patriot (Got E-Verify?) said on 4 Jan 2008 at 9:58 am:
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    Another good reason for the checkpoints is to catch legal residents who are “aiding and abetting” illegal aliens. Those legal residents should be charged with felonies.

  105. Rob Smalls (On Vacation With No Time To Counsel Against Ignorance) said on 4 Jan 2008 at 3:15 pm:
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    CoM - Since the definition of insanity performing the same act over and over while epxecting different outcome, I’ll withdraw from attempting to educate you for the 3rd day running. My comments stand on their own, there’s no need for “reaching”. I hope you’ll aprreciate your safety when your freedoms have been taken away from you to protect you from yourself. Or is that “freedoms”?

  106. Rob Smalls (On Vacation With No Time To Counsel Against Ignorance) said on 4 Jan 2008 at 3:16 pm:
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    CORR: expecting a different outcome…

  107. CitizenofManassas said on 4 Jan 2008 at 11:09 pm:
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    Ha ha. The only one that is ignorant is you. When you are using a privilege and not a right, you have to abide by the rules, plain and simple.

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