It has been held by some as common knowledge that the end result, if for the “greater good” will justify doing things that would otherwise be classified as unacceptable behavior. But is this really the case? I was stopped in a sobriety checkpoint recently and from what research I have been able to do online this activity is deemed legal in many states under specific circumstances. However, if one reads the US Constitution these random traffic stops are no where near legal and violate the individual’s Constitutional rights. Remember, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to reiterate things that were held to be God given or inherent natural rights that could not be granted or denied by man or government.
So how do the courts justify allowing this activity to transpire? The guise is that it prevents traffic deaths due to drunk drivers and therefore the end justifies the means. However the “studies” conflict and many do not back up the claim. Some say that only 1% of those who are checked at DUI roadblocks are charged with driving while impaired. By comparison, 2.5% are ticketed for “other infractions” which is still a very low percentage of those stopped. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s own data shows that the police catch drunk drivers three times more often while on routine patrol than they do in these questionable checkpoints. It could be argued as well that the expense of setting up these roadblocks is unreasonable, especially given their lack of effectiveness.
So why do we tolerate this behavior? No one wants to see injuries or death due to drunk driving or any other careless activity. But is violating everyone’s right to unencumbered passage, freedom from unwarranted search or being detained without probable cause really keeping us safer? Does the end really justify the means? Would it not be more effective if we simply stopped those who we knew were driving under the influence ourselves before they got behind the wheel? Freedom is, after all, a great responsibility and it is up to each and every individual to maintain it and to hold each other accountable for our actions.
Different states have different laws, but only 11 states stand by the Constitution and ban this highly questionable and intrusive practice. They are Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon Rhode Island, Texas, Washington (state), Wisconsin and Wyoming. If you live in one of the other states and want to live life as a free person perhaps you should petition your state legislature to change the law. After all, they are supposed to work for US, not the other way around!