01 June 2009

Your papers, please.

This past weekend, after randomly seizing & searching the drivers of 478 vehicles over the course of 5 hours, the KCPD arrested 11 people on suspicion of DWI. One driver fled the checkpoint, crashed his pickup, ran away on foot, jumped off a bridge and fell onto I-70 nearly killing himself. 
For leaving the checkpoint, the law now presumes him guilty of the DWI offense and he must prove his innocence. Had he...oh, I dunno...gunned down a physician in a church in front of dozens of witnesses, threatened two intervenors with the weapon, then fled, the law would presume him innocent until the state proved him guilty in a court of law.
Our legislatures and courts have, in an overabundance of zeal and underabundance of reason, carved out absurd exceptions to state and federal constitutions to allow law enforcement to setup expensive sobriety enforcement roadblocks that encourage random, warrantless searches, and require the citizen's production of self-incriminatory evidence, all of which — in  this case — yielded about 2 arrests per hour, and attained its objective 2.3% of the time. What a triumph.
Can anyone maintain with a straight face that roving patrols pulling over drivers for probable cause couldn't accomplish at least this much?
At what point do we recognize these checkpoints are unconstitutional, wasteful, unproductive, and stupid? I'm guessing about the same time moralizers quit getting their jollies by ignoring constitutional guarantees to strong-arm everyone else. In other words, never.

1 chimed in:

Rebecca said...

In other words when people realize when you give up freedoms for security you get neither?
Right-O, never.......