There is an interesting story out of Florida that shows that, at a typical sobriety roadblock, police arrested 10 people and wrote tickets for 100 others — for virtually every type of traffic violation except DUI. What is fascinating is the comparison to the recent D.C. Circuit ruling finding general crime roadblocks to be unconstitutional. Yet, by calling a roadblock a sobriety checkpoint, you can accomplish the same result.
The Supreme Court has ruled that sobriety checkpoints are largely unique and have allowed stops without reasonable suspicion to fight drunk driving. In Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz (1990), the United States Supreme Court voted 6-3 that sobriety checkpoints can be constitutional.
The Court has also ruled out such stops for narcotic checks. In City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, the Court voted 6-3 that a narcotic checkpoint was unconstitutional and indistinguishable from general crime control. Yet, take a look at the number from this typical roadblock which stopped 1,131 vehicles:
–Two arrested on outstanding warrants.
— Seven arrested on felony charges, including six on drug-related charges.
— One arrested for misdemeanor drugs.
— 104 traffic citations issued.
— 10 faulty equipment warnings were issued.
— 10 warnings were issued.
State courts have found roadblocks to check registrations etc to be unconstitutional, here.
For the full story, click here.