Sobriety Checkpoints / by kevin murray

I was recently driving when I had to come to a stop because there was about five or six police cars congregated in the same area on the surface street that I was driving on.  I really didn't think anything of it except to believe that there must have been a bad car accident and therefore the police were out in force to direct traffic and to take care of keeping the public safe.  I was therefore quite surprised when an officer approached my window and asked for my driver's license.  Normally, I make it a policy to have my driver's license out of my wallet as a matter of course when dealing with the police as my attitude has always been, I'm not looking to have a long conversation, or to give an officer more time to gaze inside my car, I'm going to hand over to the officer exactly what he is requesting before he needs to request it.  In fact, previously, when pulled over on a summer night, I simply rolled my window down and place my arm out the window with my driver's license in my hand.  It's not like you have a lot of options when you are pulled over.  Anyway, getting back to the story at hand, when I began to reach into my back pocket to retrieve my wallet, the office said: "why don't I check your license plate and verify your registration is up to date."  It wasn't just the words that he said that disturbed me but also the tone of voice, the matter-of-factness and the principle behind it.  If this was in fact, a sobriety checkpoint, which I believe that it was, than the checkpoint shouldn't be an excuse to check all manner of things about me and my vehicle.  As it was, my registration was up-to-date so it was a moot point and I was soon on my way, but this unnecessary stop wasted my time, inconvenienced me, and was nothing short of dealing with a police state mentality in action.


Sobriety checkpoints are a violation of our 4th Amendment rights to be secure in our persons.  If you aren't in violation of any traffic offence and there isn't a probable cause to pull your vehicle over in the first place, you should simply be left alone by the police.  Subjecting citizens to mandatory and arbitrary sobriety checkpoints are an unfair and inappropriate burden upon American citizens and a disgrace to the principles that Americans shed their blood for.  No society will do well that lives in any sort of police state, because once a police state has been formulated, that police state will always find reasons to arrest, harass, or compromised citizens for any reason or non-reason whatsoever.  Police are an instrument of force often used by those that are in power to assert control and dominance over the population, whereas the true purpose of police work is to serve and to protect the general public.  There is no service in treating all drivers as potential criminals for simply driving their vehicle on a public road, and there is no protection for the common good when resources are wasted for such purposes.  A man with a badge who was been given the responsibility to serve and protect the people must honor that principle at all times, even to putting themselves in harm's way, or dishonor their position by violating it.