Bristol, Middletown, and Falls police departments are going to institute check points to catch DUI drivers between now and 3/19. Now this may sound like a good idea at first but this is akin to random drug testing or random audits by the IRS. It is a very clear violation of our rights. A few months ago I saw Scotch Plains police officers establish a check point to check the inspection stickers on people's cars. The reason behind this? For money! They wanted to rack up the fines they were handing out to increase the amount of money that the municipality was bringing in.
The whole idea of check points is scary. When I hear the term "check point" I think of Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany. I envision police officers pulling people out of there cars and strip searching them, questioning them, and harassing them. Unless there is a valid reason for pulling someone over it should not be done. It does not make it OK if you do it to everyone. It doesn't make it fair and it doesn't make it just.
If you are someone who would argue that it is for the public safety then I have one question for you... where does it end? Where do you draw the line between public safety and an individuals rights and freedoms? There are other ways to enforce the peace without trampling on the rights of individuals such as camping out near popular bars and observing drivers as the get into their cars and leave. That would be one method to ensure that there were less DUIs.
Click here for the police blotter referenced above.