Sound Off: Should Sobriety Checkpoints be Outlawed?

New Hampshire is considering a ban on sobriety checkpoints; would you support a similar measure in New York?

New Hampshire lawmakers are currently considering a proposal to prohibit police from running sobriety checkpoints in the state, according to published reports.

Supporters of the bill say the checkpoints violate people's due process rights when they are arrested for other violations or their vehicles are searched. But law enforcement officials say the checkpoints are critical in helping them to combat drunken driving and keep highway fatalities down.

What do you think? Should New York lawmakers consider a similar proposal to eliminate sobriety checkpoints? Or are they a necessary tool to help police keep the roads safe? Vote in our poll below, and leave a comment with your thoughts on the topic.

John Scalice February 15, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I put them in the same class as random stop and frisks...abusive.
Fred Stewart February 15, 2012 at 06:57 PM
the difference is, walking down the street isn't a licensed priviledge. driving is, and thereby subject to scrutiny/regulation. Also, most people don't die from someone bumping into them on the sidewalk. Driving is potentially dangerous and lethal.
Gary Weiner February 15, 2012 at 07:22 PM
It's a poor allocation of resources. Police spend hours on the side of the road, pulling people over, mots likely finding a driver who has no seat belt or blows a smidgen over the limit instead of out on the streets looking for drivers driving erratically who are seriously drunk/impaired and much more likely to cause a bad accident or fatality.
Joe February 15, 2012 at 08:22 PM
If you're a smidgen over the limit you're over the limit. I see them as not abusive as they're not picking and choosing what cars to look at, they look at every car going through that point. You have no worry if you have nothing to hide.
Joseph LoSchiavo February 16, 2012 at 05:54 AM
No. I think there should be more random checkpoints. We need to get more serious about drunk and Now Drug driving. Until people realize that drunk driving kills, there's will be more fatalities one the roadway. And the only way to become serious is Mandatory prison times. No plea bargains. Take the attorneys out of the equation. No one can predict with certainty that this will work...but I got a pretty good feeling that if faced with the possibility of certain incarnation, folks will note drive under the influence.
Tre February 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM
I saw we should have more of these. We need to get anyone under the influence off of the road. Though not sure if they truly work. Inspection stops are the same thing except they are not as harmful to those on the rd. though when doing the check point, thu should not give people tickets for bogus things. A seatbelt it is their right to wear one and should not be ticketed in these instances. Though the parents with children climbing all of the car needs to have harsher punishments too and even those parents outing their children in harm an smoking. All of these things need to be stopped. Yet they focus on seatbelts. Rediculous.
Eddie February 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM
It's not just "working" when they stop someone on the road. Which, if you've ever read Newsday, you can see that sometimes they get quite a few (Scary). It's also working when someone doesn't get in the car in the first place because they fear there might be a checkpoint somewhere. You can't underestimate the deterrent factor.
Elizabeth K February 16, 2012 at 01:07 PM
They'll find a lot of drivers with no licence as well...crack down!
Maureen February 16, 2012 at 02:36 PM
If being worried that you may be stopped at a check pt for drunk driving prevents you from having that one more drink it is worth it. I say keep the check points. It is worth every life it saves.
Justin Weeks February 17, 2012 at 09:28 PM
"You have no worry if you have nothing to hide." This is true as long as the enforcement of laws remain consistent, just, are legitimately created and enforced through due process of law. Violation of the fourth amendment itself shows lack of consistency with the enforcement of a fundamental right to liberty and privacy. A right that is enshrined in The Constitution of the United States of America. Legitimate enforcement of law through due process is also a problem when it comes to breathalyzer tests. How can you charge someone with a crime based upon a science that has not been legitimately proven? Breathalyzers work on the assumption that each individual has a 2100:1 "Partition Ratio". The reality is not everyone has the same partition ration (http://www.forensic-evidence.com/site/Biol_Evid/Breath_Tests.html). A normal persons partition ration can vary from 1300:1 to 3100:1. This can make a person not legally above the limit, fail a test. Additionally, a judge can choose (and they do most of the time) not to allow the defendant to bring this argument up in a court of law as a defense. Doing so will result in contempt of court. We as a society of laws have to determine if we truly believe in the values that we preach. Having fair laws sometimes means the guilty will go free. We do this so the worst injustices don't happen, the innocent being punished and fundamental rights being violated.
Justin Weeks February 17, 2012 at 09:42 PM
That's like saying the government should be allowed in your house at any time to see what your children are eating and fine/jail your for endangerment of a child if they are eating candy because its worth every life it saves. We also can't forget that they can then arrest you for "reasonable suspicion" for anything in your home "in plain sight" that may or may not be illegal.
Justin Weeks February 17, 2012 at 09:45 PM
And the right to travel should be a licensed right?
Justin Weeks February 17, 2012 at 09:49 PM
If that's the way you feel maybe, you should get a group together to lobby for the repeal of the fourth amendment of the constitution. Until that time, I would like for you, others like you, and the cops violating the constitution at your bequest, to stop infringing on the founding laws of my country.
Justin Weeks February 17, 2012 at 09:50 PM
If that's the way you feel maybe, you should get a group together to lobby for the repeal of the fourth amendment of the constitution. Until that time, I would like for you, others like you, and the cops violating the constitution at your bequest, to stop infringing on the founding laws of my country.
Justin Weeks February 17, 2012 at 09:51 PM
If that's the way you feel maybe, you should get a group together to lobby for the repeal of the fourth amendment of the constitution. Until that time, I would like for you, others like you, and the cops violating the constitution at your bequest, to stop infringing on the founding laws of my country.
Mike February 18, 2012 at 03:13 AM
To Justin, No, but the right to drive a motor vehicle should be. And is....
Justin Weeks February 18, 2012 at 07:02 AM
Mike, Once it is licensed it is no longer a right. Also, just because a law has been passed does not make it lawful. Additionally, "travelling" in a motor vehicle while operating it and "driving" a motor vehicle while operating it are two completely different things. Driving is participating in an act of commerce and can be regulated and licensed. Operating a motor vehicle while not actively engaged in commerce is considered the common law right to travel.
Elizabeth K February 18, 2012 at 01:47 PM
When a drunk driver with no licence kills a father on his way to work, I say toss their ass in jail, try to prevent the loss to other law abiding citizens. Period.
John D February 18, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Obviously there are more and more people being killed by selfish people who drink to excess and take illegal, and sometimes legal drugs, and then kill people. These people should be tossed in jail for what they do. We are responsible for our actions - whether there is a law or no law. If you want to live in a society, you have to conform to the laws that were establish - driving while drunk or on drugs is illegal. Thats the law and if you disregard the law you pay the price. And because people disregard the law you need enforcement - therefore we have sobriety checkpoints. End of story. And Justin - you are living in your own world if you think this is against the "rights" under the constitution. From your constant comments and harrasing of those who do comment in favor of the checkpoints, I am assuming that you either drink and drive or drive under the influence of drugs. I would like to see sobriety checkpoints set up all the time - not just holiday weekends. We have to get these inconsiderate drunks and pill pushers off the road. Taking away their license is not enough - Jail time for DISOBEYING the laws. This is my personal opinion but one that society has chosen to enforce.
majortom1981 February 18, 2012 at 03:52 PM
They work. In huntington village by where I work they caught 10 drunk drivers in one night doing this. I say keep them.
Justin Weeks February 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
John, One of the founding laws of our country is the Fourth Amendment. If you and others do not agree with the Fourth Amendment there are legal ways to change it through additional amendments. Making laws that violate the constitution and then pretending they are legitimate is not the legal or moral way to handle the situation. In fact, it is this exact mentality of ignoring our founding principles and the rule of law that has led to the current state of our country. I would also like to state that making personal attacks is not the way to handle an argument nor does it reflect positively on your cause. If you are willing to discuss the merits on why you feel the constitution does not apply to American Citizens on a public roadway I would be glad to have an intelligent discussion with you. Properly enforced laws that do not infringe on constitutionally guaranteed rights, should be heavily enforced. Proper enforcement of lawful laws with strong punishments for competent offending adults is the answer. And, so we are clear, I do not drink and drive nor do I participate in recreational drug use. You would be hard pressed to get me to take a Tylenol for a headache(horrible for the liver). Additionally, I do not believe it is correct to drive under the influence for whatever reason. When you and your supporters are done making personal attacks and want to discuss the issue directly, I would love to hear your reasoning on why the constitution does not apply.
Bill Abbott February 20, 2012 at 09:54 AM
Justin Weeks spoken like an informed American. Thank you for reminding the people about the 4th amendment. Personally I do not mind checkpoint for drunk driving...but it stops there. The US Government is quickly turning the USA into a police state. ie-Patriot Act and NDAA. They put fear into the people so they actually "believe" they need the govt. to take care of them from the big bad whatever is the fabricated news story of the day. Wake up America! Turn off the TV and think for your SELF.
majortom1981 February 20, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I am hoping that the people complaining that this should be outlawed are also for rights for EVERYBODY. All these muslim americans who are getting their rights taken away here in america is horrible. there is an article that just came out about the nypd spying on muslim americans JUST because they are muslim. How many of you are saying omg police state but yet supported the republicans who want to watch all muslims in our country? If your saying we should get rid of the police state it should be for everybody.
Larry February 22, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Listen these road blocks if they are on a friday or saturday night are fine if they are being conducted on hi risk areas like 110, dpa etc. however these stupid ones on off and on ramps are total traps set up so cops don,t have to go out and do their job. nailing someone for a bad inspection sticker or outdated reggie is a joke. by the way why do i have to re register my car every few years. what a crock i should register it once and when i sell it i,ll let you know i no longer have it.. also for all you people who think that driving is a privledge you should read your consitution it a right thats been upheld by the courts. Transports of people and communications between places being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to conduct conveyances shall not be infringed. http://educate-yourself.org/cn/drivingisrightnotprivledge07apr05.shtml


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