Private Traffic Stops, Never Mind the Cops

Declan McCullagh of Politech provides a fascinating set of links and stories involving an institute--the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation--that specializes in getting government grants to do research that, wouldn't you know, gives government cover to take away more liberty when it comes to alcohol and drugs.

Seems that the institute got the Gilpin County Sheriff's office in Colorado to help them stop drivers at checkpoints to submit to--purely voluntary!--breath, blood, and saliva analysis.

The Denver Post's story on the incident, for which the Sheriff's office apologized when citizens reported feeling quite a bit of pressure to comply when stopped by blue jump-suited people accompanied by cops asking them for precious bodily fluids and the very breath of life itself.

McCullagh's reason archives.

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  • ||

    No one is forcing you to drive through that county. If you don't like a county's particular laws, take a detour.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Mainstream Libertarians are for keeping us safe on the roads. It is too extreme to say that the police shouldn't be able to test any driver for alcohol whenever they wish. Drunk Driving kills, so everything that is possible should be done to stop it.

  • Opinionated DNA donor||

    I spit on your roadblocks.

  • ||

    It is too extreme to say that the police shouldn't be able to test any driver for alcohol whenever they wish.

    You call yourself a "mainstream libertarian", but I don't think you know what that word means. "Mainstream statist" sounds closer to the mark.

    It is NOT extreme to limit such police tests. If you want to stop drunk driving 100%, you will have to ban driving itself, and then tear up the roads as insurance. But that is not a state of liberty. I hate to break the news to you, but the world is not a safe place! Liberty demands that we live in a risky world. The expectation that we can be perfectly safe is juvenile.

  • cb||

    No one is forcing you to drive through that county. If you don't like a county's particular laws, take a detour.



    That's a valid point IMO. However, where the drivers properly informed of their choices? If not, the solution is to inform people, whether you're a part of it or not. Assuming of course that wouldn't result in backlash or unwarranted pressure to comply, which would make the operation either secretive or (illegally, I presume) non-voluntary.

    See how fixing information asymmetry makes voluntaryism work so much better and gives you that warm, safe, free feely in your jibblies?

  • cb||

    Oops, typos. I meant "were," and a comma before "IMO." I'm going to keep "feely in your jibblies," though.

  • Mike Laursen||

    No one is forcing you to drive through that county. If you don't like a county's particular laws, take a detour.

    Well, that's one way of dealing with the roadblocks. Another is to demand that one's government not be allowed the power of unreasonable search and seizure.

    What's "reasonable", you ask? Clearly reason should be the decider.

  • Mike Laursen||

    It is too extreme to say that the police shouldn't be able to test any driver for alcohol whenever they wish.

    While the police are stopping any vehicle they wish to stop, would you also allow them to search any of those vehicles they wish to search?

  • ||

    I believe this is where somebody steps in and says "If you have nothing to hide..."

    I mean, that justifies anything in this post 9/11 world, right?

  • grylliade||

    Mainstream Libertarians are for keeping us safe on the roads. It is too extreme to say that the police shouldn't be able to test any driver for alcohol whenever they wish. Drunk Driving kills, so everything that is possible should be done to stop it.



    So, what is it exactly that distinguishes you from a true-red Republican hack again? As far as I can tell, "mainstream" libertarianism is code for "libertarians should bend over for the Republicans, and say 'thank you' afterwards."

  • ||

    Mainstream Libertarians are for keeping us safe on the roads. … Drunk Driving kills, so everything that is possible should be done to stop it.



    @Eric D:
    WTF? Do you even know what liberty, as in libertarian, means? And mainstream isn't necessarily the same thing as 'right', 'fair', 'best', or 'most reasonable'.

    Personally, I don't even think that driving drunk should be a crime. Consider the carrying of a loaded weapon: at this point, there is only the potential for criminal/illegal activity. It is not until a person or property is shot that a crime has been committed.

    DUI should be the same, IMO. Is it any less tragic that a totally sober driver crosses the center line and hits a Soccer Mom Minivan full of kids than when a drunk driver does the same thing? Again, I ask you to consider the consistency of the rules: unless the sober driver crosses the line they are merely a law abiding citizen driving responsibly. The drunk driver is an otherwise law-abiding citizen - unless they cross the line, run the red light, etc.

    More than that, the BAL for DUI is.08 in most places (two beers for 180 lb man). Yes, "Drunk Driving kills..." but this guy is not likely the third-time-DWI-suspended-license drunk driver that's helped MADD to grow into the powerful anti-alcohol lobby that it has become. So are we really making the roads any safer? Probably not.

    Oh - and then there's this Fourth Amendment thingy...

  • ||

    [John Lacey] said the researchers try to be sensitive to those not wanting to participate, but they push a small subset of those who initially refuse to reconsider - even offering incentives.

    "If we don't do that, the criticism will come out that we had so many who were refusers," Lacey said.


    In John Lacey's world, you can be a participator or a refuser; some may be deciders. But GODDAMMIT don't you refusers think you're going to make him look bad without a fight.

  • ||

    Eric Dondero,

    It is too extreme to say that the police shouldn't be able to test any driver for alcohol whenever they wish.

    No, it's not. Here, I'll say it again: police should not be able to test any driver for alcohol whenever they wish.

    If that's really you and not a spoof, please go die in a fire.

  • Mad Max||

    I suspect that whoever posted here as "Dan T." and "Dondero" was parodying the attitudes of these people.

  • Guy Montag||

    I hate mind cops, even the "mind the cops" variety.

    After seeing a documentry about this I moved to Crystal City to prevent the John Anderton's of the world from taking over.

    Could use some help! Who is with me?

  • robc||

    The Dondero parody would have been more realistic with and f-bomb or six.

  • ||

    Pi Guy,

    Extending your logic means that I should also be able to freely discharge a firearm randomly anywhere I want right up until I kill someone. Reckless behavior is still reckless.

  • ||

    If the cops can't tell you're drunk by observing your driving, then you're obviously not impaired, regardless of your BAC.

    Also, I have never had a drink of alcohol, but drunk driving stops still bother me because they waste my time.

  • Mike||

    Tbone,

    Reckless behavior may be reckless, but recklessness, in a purely libertarian sense, should not be illegal. If your recklessness doesn't explicitly harm another, then a purely libertarian take of the situation would find no issue with it.

  • ||

    Notice Eric's post follows Dan T's trolling. There is something called sarcasm that is sometimes used as a form of humor. In all seriousness, the people doing this (the police "helpers", not Eric and Dan) should be shot under provisions of the 4th right in the New List of Rights and Duties. For those who don't know, when the revolutionary government takes over the 4th right will be, "You have the right to be left alone. If you can't mind your own fucking business its is every other citizens duty to shoot you" The wording is still a little rough, but its a work in progress.

    From the fascist's website:

    "Pacific Institute's headquarters are located in Calverton, Maryland, with major research centers throughout the country. Researchers at these locations COLLABORATE with one another on specific projects and add valuable expertise to the organization." (emphasis added)

    Under the New List collaborater are to be shot on site. Also, if you are a collaborator it is required to publish addresses where you may be "reached" at any given moment. Compliance has been noted.

  • ||

    The New List also requires fascist organisations to list their co-collaborators. Once again, compliance is noted:

    Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation
    The Alliance for Drug and Alcohol Management, Ltd. (ADAM)
    American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
    American Automobile Association (AAA)
    American Legacy Foundation
    American Lung Association
    American Traffic Safety Services Association
    Baptist Community Ministries
    The Best Foundation
    Bon Secours Health System, Inc.
    California Wellness Foundation
    Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
    David and Lucile Packard Foundation
    Developing Resources for Education in America, Inc. (DREAM)
    Drug Awareness Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
    The Gallup Organization
    General Motors Corporation
    Good Samaritan Hospital
    Gwinnett United in Drug Education, Inc. (GUIDE)
    The Health Trust
    Hope House
    Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
    International Development Research Centre
    Katherine Freund & Association, Inc.
    La Familia Counseling Center, Inc.
    Miriam Hospital
    Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
    National Association of Beverage Control Agencies
    National Organization on Disability
    National Safety Council
    Nissan Research and Development, Inc.
    The Packard Foundation
    Peer Assistance Network of America (PAN America)
    The Pew Memorial Trust
    Research Foundation of CUNY
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    Southeast Center for the Application of Applied Technology
    Students Against Destructive Decisions
    The Trauma Foundation
    The United Way




    Remember this list when considering where to donate money or your old car. The American Lung Association and United Way in particular...

  • ||

    Extending your logic means that I should also be able to freely discharge a firearm randomly anywhere I want right up until I kill someone. Reckless behavior is still reckless.

    Damned straight. That said, driving with a BAC of .08 is not the same as driving with a BAC of 3.0 and our laws should reflect that reality. I'm a better than average driver with a BAC of .08. This is not to say i'm not impaired compared to me at .00 BAC. At a BAC of 3.0 (yeah, I've been there) it would be unconscionable to get behind the wheel of an auto. Some sanity, and HONEST debate in the policy discussion on this issue is long overdue. You know, maybe graph BAC vs. accidents to help make a decision.

  • ||

    Libertarian or not, it's morally wrong for some other person, whether it's a cop or anybody else, to stop me unless I'm hurting or about to hurt somebody else. It's wrong.

  • ||

    Mike,

    My liberty ends at the point where my jackassery is exceptionally likely to infringe on the liberty of others. The preponderance of evidence shows this to be the case in DUI accidents.

    J sub D.

    Hear, hear. However, analytical studies show that even .08'ers radically overestimate their "ability" to drive impaired (presently company excluded of course). I think 0.1 - 0.13 is fine. I routinely drive after 2 or 3 22 ouncers (200lb male) without thinking twice about it (or feeling impaired).

  • ||

    I don't think that's Eric Dondero.

    I think that somebody out to discredit him among libertarians.

    Look at this statement: Drunk Driving kills, so everything that is possible should be done to stop it.

    That right there is an obvious attempt to push libertarians' buttons.

    I don't any use for Donderrrrooooooooooooo, but that's a shitty, dishonest thing to do.

  • ||

    The New List also requires fascist organisations to list their co-collaborators. Once again, compliance is noted:

    Research Foundation of CUNY

    phew, that was close!

  • Jennifer||

    I think that somebody out to discredit him among libertarians.

    Whoa, talk about somebody who won't back down from a challenge.

  • ||

    These drivers are every bit as free to ignore the requests as low-income homebuyers are to back out of that ARM they don't understand when the terms change the day before the closing.

    They just don't know that.

  • ||

    Seriously, Jennifer.

    It's like framing OJ.

    Why bother?

  • ||

    Seriously, Jennifer.

    It's like framing OJ.

    Why bother?


    Yep.

  • ||

    However, analytical studies show that even .08'ers radically overestimate their "ability" to drive impaired (presently company excluded of course).

    No doubt. I'm not as good of a driver after two beers. With the notable exception of Dr. Johnny Fever, whi is?

  • ||

    "If the cops can't tell you're drunk by observing your driving, then you're obviously not impaired, regardless of your BAC."

    Anyone approaching one of these checkpoints would reasonably believe that this was a bona fide sobriety checkpoint. The first person a driver sees is a deputy and they are routed to a bunch of people in blue cover alls (like the ones CDOT wears, maybe not exactly, but close).

    WTF? What is the typical driver expected to do? Well cooperate of course. Cooperate with the nice bureaucrat, let him take your bodily fluids on demand, just like a good sheeple. It's for your safety and IFTC.

    IMO we are riding on greased rails headed toward the most excellent nanny state ever imagined. If you don't have anything to hide, what's the problem? I imagine a future USSA where the living envy the dead, because the dead enjoyed a few freedoms left before they left this mortal coil.

  • ||

    ""IMO we are riding on greased rails headed toward the most excellent nanny state ever imagined."""

    I don't think that's your opinion, but a rational observation of the facts. Most of those running for office are fighting to be the head nanny, Democrat or Republican. So far, Americans seem to want it.

    At some point the term nanny state will be way too nice.

    Dan T seems very eager to yield to other peoples demands regardless if they are right or wrong. Maybe his mistress abandoned him.

  • ||

    ""With the notable exception of Dr. Johnny Fever, whi is?"""

    That was a funny episode.

  • ||

    Pi Guy,

    Extending your logic means that I should also be able to freely discharge a firearm randomly anywhere I want at a spot a few inches from your face right up until I kill someone. Reckless behavior is still reckless.

    Considering the proximity of lanes of traffic, the above analogy seems more apt.

  • ||

    For those who don't know, when the revolutionary government takes over the 4th right will be, "You have the right to be left alone. If you can't mind your own fucking business its is every other citizens duty to shoot you" The wording is still a little rough, but its a work in progress.

    Wouldn't imposing a "duty" on others to shoot a busybody also be a case of not minding one's own fcx#ing business, and thus be subject to the death penalty itself? ;)

  • SIV||

    Looking at their website Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation's mission seems to be mixing scientific research (no doubt the sacred "peer reviewed" kind)with public policy.

    I thought science-informed public policy is what todays liberaltarian is all about.

  • ||

    I thought science-informed public policy is what todays liberaltarian is all about.

    It is one facet of libertarianism, no doubt. See my previous posts on this thread.

  • ||

    That was a funny episode.

    TrickyVic, Almost all of them were.

  • Steve in Clearwater||

    "Drunk driving kills"

    SH: Very, very, very rarely.

  • Nash||

    My roomate was actually stopped by these folks when heading out on a camping trip.

    The cops were the ones doing the pulling people over, so it definitely was a non voluntary stop.

    While he was there, there were 4-5 vehicles being searched by these people. He told them he wasn't interested, and they kept persisting. He finally told the woman who was asking for the search that "No. I have to leave. I'm going to leave. Stop asking to search and swab my mouth." She finally relented, but then said "Well let me ask the officer if it's safe for you to go." The cop said fine, and he left.

  • ||

    If the cops can't tell you're drunk by observing your driving, then you're obviously not impaired, regardless of your BAC.


    Wrong. It takes very little in the way of coordination, planning, or reaction time to drive down the middle of a lane. Avoiding accidents, maintaining control of the car at the limit of adhesion, instantly plotting escape routes and evaluating risks, remembering not to look at what you're trying to avoid and to look where you're going, threshold braking, and general judgement are different matters. When the feces strikes the oscillating instrument, several or all of those skills are very necessary, and within a split second. In short, alcohol doesn't have much effect on most driving, but when it matters, it can be the difference between "that was close" and "I hope those sirens are coming this way."

  • ||

    Avoiding accidents, maintaining control of the car at the limit of adhesion, instantly plotting escape routes and evaluating risks, remembering not to look at what you're trying to avoid and to look where you're going, threshold braking, and general judgement are different matters.

    Number 6, How would you rate the bottom quintile of sober, licensed drivers in having and using these skills. I'm really not trying to be a smartass, but my observations lead me to believe that 50% or more drivers lack the skills necessary to operate an automobile in a safe and judicious manner. From a bang for a buck perspective, are we best deploying our traffic safety dollars judiciously? Yes drunk driving is a hazard. Is it, at th .08-.12 BAC range, a greater hazard than stupid or clueless driving?

    You will never see this issue discussed in any state legislature. We all know why.

  • Rick H.||

    The last two comments were excellent points, well reasoned and elegantly expressed.

    We need a facile, snarky comment to break up the momentum - and I'm just the guy for it!

  • ||

    We need a facile, snarky comment to break up the momentum - and I'm just the guy for it!

    Dammit Rick H. #6 and I were just about to solve America's road carnage problems. Now I've completely lost my train of thought. All future highway fatalities are on your head!

  • Bee||

    Jsub -

    Absolutely. I'll take a healthy middle-aged man with a couple of beers in him any day over a stone-cold sober 84-year-old.

    I'm tired of reading about geezers mowing down patio cafes and outdoor markets. "Driving While Senile" is - in theory anyway - a hazard which can be predicted, tested for, and prevented before harm occurs. If we're going to have licensing and constitutionally dubious "harm-prevention" schemes, paid for by me, I'd like to see the very old at least tested by DMV anually.

  • ||

    "Extending your logic means that I should also be able to freely discharge a firearm..."

    Wouldn't the noise from the firearm possibly cause harm to unprotected ears in close proximity to the discharge, or are we using imaginary silencers like the ones in the movies?

  • ||

    These drivers are every bit as free to ignore the requests as low-income homebuyers are to back out of that ARM they don't understand when the terms change the day before the closing.

    That's not a particularly good analogy, unless the people pushing those mortgages were accompanied by cops. Even then, it would seem far more odd if a cop appeared to be pushing mortgages than if (s)he seemed to be manning a roadblock.

  • ||

    When it comes to fucking with traffic: as Jimmy Durante used to say: "Everybody wants to be a bureaucrat (with an inferiority complex)."
    (I paraphrased. For you whippersnappers here, what Jimmy really said was: "Everybody wants to get into the act.")

  • ||

    J sub D- False dichotomy. Unlibertarian as it may be, I'm all in favor of toughter restrictions on driving.

    Also, the fact that there are bad drivers out there who are not drunks doesn't affect whether or not drunk driving ought to be a crime and/or how vigorously cops should pursue drunk drivers.

    Please note that this is not an argument for checkpoints.

  • ||

    @Tbone, J sub D, Mike, et al:

    "Extending your logic ... right up until I kill someone. Reckless behavior is still reckless."

    Yes, killing is very clearly an infringement of any reasonable person's definition of personal rights, to be certain. As for discharging a firearm at or near another person's face is more closely analogous to a driver (drunk, sober, somewhere in between - doesn't matter) crossing the center line, running the stop sign, or even hopping the curb but not hitting another vehicle or a mailbox or a utility pole - you know, being reckless - that personal rights have been violated. If done accidentally (J sub D's lowest quintile at least), it is merely reckless but that is still a violation of personal rights because reckless behavior can cause others behave differently and perhaps dangerously

  • ||

    F*&%ing mousepad... had to start pancakes and scrapple anyway.

    ...dangerously. That applies for the firearm and driving cases similarly. If you discharge a weapon safely, in situations where it reasonable to expect people - drunk ones, stone cold sober ones, doesn't matter - to discharge firearms, then the beans, well, they're cool.

    If one stops at red lights w/o skidding 60 feet (that's 18 meters for those of you in the metric system), yield correctly at intersections and merge lanes, and drive in a manner that is clearly un-reckless (note, for reasons cited above, that I believe that recklessness can be a violation of personal rights) then should it matter if they are drunk or not? I don't think so.

    Think of it like this: NFL players are randomly and sometimes not so randomly (like Ricky Williams) tested to see if they're smoking pot. But if pot's as bad as is claimed, it seems that the athlete would play poorly and eventually play himself out of the league without any intervention. And pot isn't one of the first things that come to mind when I think "performance enhancing" drug. So how is a talented but high player doing his job worse than a less talented athlete trying his ass off doing his job?

    And so, I ask again: Is a driver under the influence - that is, BAL >= 0.08 - driving safely and obeying the laws and codes of the road worse than a poor driver trying hard and staying staying between the lines? How about the ones sending text messages? Or putting on mascara? Or dunking their McNugget in BBQ sauce? Or playing with their XM satellite controller?

    When the consumption of deep-fried fused chicken pieces-parts is a crime, only criminals will consume deep-fried fused chicken pieces-parts. But, as it stands now, McNuggets are legal and slamming into car in front of you as you lick honey mustard off your thumb is not legal because crashing into other cars is reckless. Violates others' personal rights, Yadda, yadda, yadda...

  • ||

    Pi Guy-And I answer again: the danger comes when an emergency arises, not when a person manages to stop at a red light. (If the driver skids-that is locks up the brakes-said driver has just proven that he doesn't know how to drive.)

    The pot issue is simply not relevant here. If nothing else, it's different because drug testing isn't meant to show whether a person is under the influence at the moment. Giving someone a test during a traffic stop that determines if he has consumed alcohol in the last 30 days would be analagous. (And equally stupid).

    And playing "Ooooh...that driver is putting on mascara!" is also not relevant. It's the same as a kid telling his mother, "Yeah, but Jimmy violated his curfew by 5 hours!" True, perhaps, but not germain to the discussion. But, for the sake of argument, I think that a driver putting on mascara should have her license suspended. The same for the tards that I've seen reading the paper on the road. And whether a person is eating nuggets, playing with the radio, or whatever absolutely should be a factor in determining fault in an accident.

  • ||

    #6, I agree that DWI is and should be a crime. I question whether the resources expended and the liberties violated are justified in the name of public safety. The hysteria that groups like MADD promulgate is, IMHO, all out of proportion to the adknowledged problem of DWI. We're beginning to split hairs here, you and I.

  • ||

    "And whether a person is eating nuggets, playing with the radio, or whatever absolutely should be a factor in determining fault in an accident."

    "a factor in determining fault in an accident"

    "in an accident"

    As should one's Blood Alcohol content. A factor, in an accident. And not in and of itself, grounds for arrest.

    CB

  • ||

    Oops, forgot to change my name back. I'm incompetent today.

  • Guy Montag||

    OT: NASCAR is on at 1300, ABC television.

    Well, there will be a lot of drinking, a bunch of driving and a few wrecks (I prefer very few or none), so maybe this is on topicish.

  • ||

    "Wouldn't imposing a "duty" on others to shoot a busybody also be a case of not minding one's own fcx#ing business, and thus be subject to the death penalty itself? ;)"

    In the words of Dennis Moore - This redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought.

  • ||

    Dennis Moore:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=gAs2m7Hr3Bc

  • ||

    In other news, the Canadian dollar reached parity with the US dollar this week. Does this mean we have to start respecting our neighbors to the north?

  • ||

    Opps, sorry. My link didn't have the punch line which is in part 2 or 3 of the sketch. But it is episode 37 (season 3):

    http://thepiratebay.org/tor/3439491/Monty_Pythons_Flying_Circus__Complete__High-Res(640x480)__englis

    the above link is only provided for reference. It may not be legal for download in your country. But, on the off-chance you are from Sweden, have at it.

  • ||

    I should warn everyong that under the New List of Rights and Duties (following the revolution)you might get your mouse-clicking finger amputated if you illegally download any copyrighted works. Just so ya know.

    If you are in Sweden, you will need a bittorrent client such as Bitcomet (free download) to make use of torrent files.

  • ||

    In other news, the Canadian dollar reached parity with the US dollar this week. Does this mean we have to start respecting our neighbors to the north?

    Oops, wrong thread. I reiterate, I'm incompetent today.

  • Greg||

    Just think, once the market develops for cars that drive themselves none of this will matter.

  • Zubon||

    J sub D, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that, no, you have not been at 3.0% blood alcohol content. Note the order of magnitude: 0.08% BAC is per se illegal, and that is about four drinks in an hour for an average male. This means that 3.0% requires 150 drinks in an hour. Most human beings die around 0.50% 0.30% is very possible, although anyone who is coherent at 0.3 has developed a truly impressive tolerance to alcohol. There are relatively few 0.30% BAC drunk driving arrests because few non-alcoholics have enough tolerance to drive (not drive well, physically do things like walk to the car and put it in gear) at that point.

    It is a fair point that there are many legal things are worse for your driving ability than being at 0.08. Driving on four hours' sleep is worse, as is two hours' sleep plus two drinks. Talking on a cell phone gets you most of the way there, as does being older than 65. Having the flu will do it.

  • ||

    J sub D, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that, no, you have not been at 3.0% blood alcohol content. Note the order of magnitude: 0.08% BAC is per se illegal, and that is about four drinks in an hour for an average ...

    I didn't say I drove like that. If I did drive in a condition like that, I'd support putting me in jail! Maybe I wasn't clear enough.

  • ||

    Oh Yeah, that should have read .30 not 3.0. my fuckup. Obviously 3.0 is impossible to survive.

  • Guy Montag||

    Oh Yeah, that should have read .30 not 3.0. my fuckup. Obviously 3.0 is impossible to survive.

    Impossible for humans to survive, yes. However, I have heard that the irish are born with that BAC.

  • ||

    Impossible for humans to survive, yes. However, I have heard that the irish are born with that BAC.

    Hey, wait a minute there I'm Irish and am extremely ... not offended.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Please note that the post above was not written by me. Someone here at the Reason Blog regularly posts stuff under my name. And I thought principled libertarians were supposed to be opposed to force and FRAUD. obviously not.

  • BAC > it should be||

    I thought principled libertarians were supposed to be opposed to force and FRAUD. obviously not.


    Not all true Scotsmen are liars from Crete, Mistah D.

  • ||

    Eric,

    Two points:

    1) The fact that it was a hoax was pretty obvious from the start.

    2) Your reputation is so in the toilet right now that it's pretty much impossible to reduce it further.

    Thus, I wouldn't sweat it if I were you, Mr "Freedom is obedience to authority".

  • ||

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    And I thought principled libertarians were supposed to be opposed to force and FRAUD


    Well, that's one reason for your unpopularity. The other is that you're a stupid little shill.

    Not cool about people posting as you, to be sure. It's demeaning for them.

  • ||

    "The pot issue is simply not relevant here."

    It's completely relevant to my argument. I am attaching greater emphasis on the actual performance of the driver/player when the rubber hits the road/ball is snapped. You are still attached to the puritanic notion that being under the influence - now or recently - is a key indicator of how someone will behave or perform, in the absence of actually having committed another tangible, rights-violating offense or having failed to cover the guy in their zone. I still contend that the average and better than average drivers after two beers are at least as capable of dealing with, as you say, emergencies as the not-so-swell drivers under the best of conditions. I'll wager that the same thing is true of the big, strong, fast, but baked athlete with respect to the short, skinny, slow, guy giving 132%.

    But, to get back on-topic here:
    DWI checkpoints stop otherwise law-abiding citizens, "Let me see your papers!"-style without any requisite probable cause. If a you want to use BAL as a tool for helping to assess fault when an actual personal or property damage accident has occurred or even extending or increasing charges when no damages are incurred (crossing centerline, hopping curb, other non-damage incidents), then I'm okay with that. But let's not just trample on the Constitution to ruin the life of a guy who had a two-martini lunch in our zeal to perpetrate the War on Alcohol - uh, I mean, save lives (and property as well, for that matter).

    At the very least, a driver has the right to be left alone (Fourth Amendment) in the absence of probable cause. It is reasonable to deem crossing the yellow line or backing into a fire hydrant reckless and, thereby, probable cause for further investigation. Lawful search and seizure can ensue at this point.

    DWI checkpoints are tantamount to going house-to-house, Marines in Baghdad-style, and asking the person who answers the door, "Excuse me, sir or madam. Have you been doing anything illegal? It smells as though you have been doing something illegal here. Please step out of the house. Let me see your papers."

    I don't think that this is what the Framers had in mind...

  • ||

    I don't mind having a BAC of .1 or whatever on the books, but I don't like that police can suspend probable cause to get you for it. You can't just go around testing everyone.

    If you can't get someone for Reckless, you really don't need to be pulling them over 99% of the time.

  • severin||

    Part of the story is being lost here. That is "why did they choose Gilpin County?". Gilpin County is the home to one of two legalized gambling areas in Colorado with the gambling town of Blackhawk on highway 119 (the one they had the stops set up for). PIRE intentionally chose that area in an effort to skew the results to make it seem like drunk driving is more prevalent than it is in most areas. They chose a weekend, did the survey at night, 10 miles outside of a town where the common practice is to give drinks away. They then turn around and try to use these statistics to "prove" their assertions that drunk driving is rampant. They suck and I am extremely disappointed that the Gilpin county sheriff co-operated with them.

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