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Friday, December 30, 2011

CA - ESCONDIDO: Police set up checkpoint in downtown Friday afternoon

Police were setting up a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint in downtown Escondido late Friday afternoon.
The checkpoint was being established along Juniper Street at Valley Parkway. Escondido's checkpoints typically run from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Police said earlier in the week the checkpoint was part of an effort to catch drunken drivers over the New Year's holiday weekend.
Along with making drunken driving arrests at the checkpoints, Escondido police typically impound cars driven by unlicensed drivers.
Starting on Sunday, a new state law will require that unlicensed drivers are given a short window of time to find a licensed person to drive their car before it is impounded.
If the vehicle is impounded, the owner can recover the vehicle at the tow yard with the help of a licensed driver.
Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher, who says the checkpoints have improved the city's traffic safety, said earlier this month the law was "a terrible law, really disappointing."
The department will also have officers looking for drunken drivers on Saturday and Sunday nights, Lt. Tom Albergo said earlier this week.
People planning to celebrate the new year and drink alcohol should take precautions by designating a sober driver, calling a cab if a sober driver is not available and calling 911 if someone on the road appears to be impaired, Albergo said.
Funding for the operation was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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From "Alcohol, Problems and Solutions:" "... eleven states have found that sobriety checkpoints violate their own state constitutions or have outlawed them. In these states, individuals have more protections against unreasonable search and police sobriety roadblocks are prohibited." Thus it is for California as well. Indeed. These ethnic trap "checkpoints" are doomed and will soon be extinct in California as well. No More Unreasonable Searches! It must be done the old fashioned way. A police officers sees a car being driven erratically. Then, and only then, he may stop the car and talk to the driver. And a citizen may call such a siutation to the attention of the police who may then in turn investigate. But to willy-nilly stop EVERY car along a street and then investigate each and every driver without probably cause is contrary to California's own Constitution and will go the way it did in the other eleven states! Plus these so-called checkpoints are in fact an additional violation of the civil rights of minorities who are then harassed about their citizenship!