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Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint on Friday

by Katie Pyzyk | February 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm | 163 Comments

Arlington Police and the Arlington Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint somewhere in the county on Friday.

All vehicles that pass through the checkpoint will be stopped and drivers asked to provide licenses. Any drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or other substances will be ushered to a safe area nearby for further observation and possible testing. The checkpoint location will not be revealed ahead of time.

The checkpoint is part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, in support of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-led crackdown on drunk driving. The program combines high-visibility DUI enforcement with public awareness to deter intoxicated individuals from getting behind the wheel.

Virginia’s maximum penalty for the first conviction for driving under the influence is 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and the suspension of driving privileges for 12 months.

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  • South Awwwlington

    Can’t we “opt-out?”

    • cranky crankypants

      you could start by not driving after drinking.

      • Richard Cranium

        Where’s the fun in that?

      • heyyyy

        i’ll do what i want

    • KalashniKEV
      • T.G.E.o.A

        Love it! That’s the way to handle things.

      • so

        If you do not answer their question are you allowed to go? I’m assuming this wouldn’t go so smoothly in some parts of the country even though it’s probably your right not to answer.
        I know some police departments have alcohol detectors built into the flashlight they shine into your vehicle. http://www.pittsburghduiattorneyblog.com/2011/09/college-police-in-pennsylvania-use-alcohol-detecting-flashlights.shtml

        • KalashniKEV

          After not immediately complying, most police officers would wait for you to open your mouth, and then just say, “I detect the presence of alcohol, get out of your vehicle.”

          Kudos to those 2 officers for conducting themselves professionally!

      • T.G.E.o.A….

        Hahaha

    • Sam

      Sure, don’t drive on government-owned roads.

      • Sam

        Sorry, government-controlled, obviously they are taxpayer-owned.

    • steph

      I’m with ya s.a.

  • ArlForester

    Where? Thanks in advance.

  • http://www.aljazeera.com Ben Loddin

    Please keep up this, HOV and inspection sticker enforcement – we appreciate it very much.
    Uncle Ben Loddin

    • DSS10

      Forget HOV enforcement, they should be focused on 100% inspection and tax decal compliance on the first of the month! Maybe after that they can work on parking tickets on the 12:00-7:00 shift!

      • KalashniKEV

        They should be focused 100% on Real Police Work and crime prevention. I don’t see how an individual officer can have any pride in their uniform or job when he or she spends the majority of their day on revenue enforcement.

      • Regular Arlington Girl

        Tax decal is too hard. Lots of people can claim they’re just commuting elsewhere. As long as you’re paying a tax, to somewhere, they don’t care (and shouldn’t). Not a cop’s job to maintain tax compliance

        • KalashniKEV

          Well in case you haven’t taken I-66 (W or E) in the morning, that’s what they’re doing when all these lady joggers are out getting sexually assaulted on the trails.

      • Jim Necci

        Tac decal enforcement is tough to do. All counties do not have tax decals any more. Here in Culpeper county they are no longer provided even though we still pay the tax. Since they are not required when a car is inspected in Culpeper the decal is removed as an illegal obstruction.

  • nunya

    last time i remember they did this, one check point was just past the key bridge marriott on lee highway.

    • Ben

      They also like Fairfax Blvd near the GMU campus.

      • GreaterClarendon

        They’ve been posted on the I-66 entrance off Lee Hwy, near the Italian Store for the past two mornings. Really screws up the intersection of Kirkwood and Lee Hwy when they do this.

  • I’m wasteed

    oh crap..i’m screwed

  • http://legalizationofmarijuana.com Dealin Dave

    Man, I’m good to go – thanks!

  • John B

    Last time I saw one was on Fairfax near Rio Grande.

    • JamesE

      The swirls at Rio will make you go 0-hammered in 3.9 seconds.

  • Otis Campbell

    Oh Crap!

  • Josh S

    *grumble* *grumble* ….Something about liberties and safety and deserving neither…..*grumble* *mutter* *mutter*

  • Technically…

    You have the right to remain silent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBzfhseSmms

    However, you shouldn’t drink and drive. Rent a movie, invite friends over, drink at home. End of story.

    • Good Grief

      Actually in Virginia, there is an “implied consent” law. If convicted of first offense breath test refusal, your driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year.

      • Technically…

        They don’t automatically give you breath tests… if you simply don’t wish to answer the “have you had anything to drink tonight” question and they don’t ask for a breath test you’ve done nothing wrong.

        • Good Grief

          This is Virginia – you’ve just given the officer reason to doubt your sobriety. Call any DUI attorney for verification. Just don’t drink and drive, if you do your ‘excuse’ won’t be anything the CA hasn’t heard before.

  • T.G.E.o.A

    Don’t cooperate. Roll down your window just enough to give them your documentation. Refuse to answer any questions about what you were doing or where you came from.

    If they try to make you do the sobriety calesthenics, refuse and tell them you sprained your knee.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Good idea. Let’s all be d-bags to the police, because the officer at the DUI checkpoint is certainly the person who made the decision to have the DUI checkpoint in the first place, so he is deserving of your abuse. We certainly don’t have an interest in keeping drunks off the road, so your idea is a brilliant one!

      • SomeGuy

        It’s not a d-bag move to be cooperative in a minimal fashion, e.g., not rolling down a window more than necessary, not providing more information than is req’d, etc. And that doesn’t harm the officer either.

        • Quoth the Raven

          Sorry, but I don’t agree. Minimally cooperative for what reason? Why be semi-confrontational when you don’t have to be? If you’re sober, you’ve got nothing to worry about. And if you’re drunk, I hope you get caught. Don’t punish the cop for doing his job.

          • SomeGuy

            Minimally cooperative as a peaceful protest against a practice which many people feel violates their civil rights. You might not think it violates civil rights, but many people disagree with you.

            It is my right to give an officer only that which is legally required, and I’m happy to reserve that right. You however, may volunteer to pop your trunk, open your glove compartment, turn out your pockets, and hand over your GPS tracking coordinates from the last 7 days if you want.

          • Quoth the Raven

            What a crock. What civil rights are you talking about? I’m not asking you to do more than is legally required, I’m asking you not to be an a-hole while you’re doing it.

            As a reminder – you do not have a right to drive your car. It is a privilege accorded to you by the state. And you certainly don’t have a right to drive drunk.

          • SomeGuy

            First of all, you did say a person should do more than required, accusing him of being a “d-bag” and “semi-confrontational” for doing only the minimum required. And I never said anything about being “an a-hole.” In fact, I think one can be very polite while also not exposing himself more than he’s legally required.

            There are legal scholars who’d agree with us both on the legality of checkpoints. The Supreme Court says they’re okay, so that’s the law, but plenty of other bright legal minds don’t. I for one, don’t like the concept of being presumed guilty until I prove myself innocent, so I would prefer to minimize my participation in checkpoints. You feel differently, and you may drive through them as often as you feel necessary.

            I can intelligently disagree with you without calling you a “d-bag” though, and maybe that’s something you should also strive for.

          • Quoth the Raven

            SomeGuy, my point was not that YOU are or are not a d-bag. In the original post to which I was responding, the poster was strongly suggesting being cooperative yet difficult. To me, when you have a cop standing out in the cold trying to do the job, and someone is unnecessarily difficult, that’s being a d-bag. You say you’re polite while doing the minimum, and that’s great. But there are a lot of folks out there who don’t understand the difference between disagreeing with a particular rule or viewpoint and being ridiculously difficult. Look at the original post – it starts with “don’t cooperate.”

            And while we’re politiely disagreeing, I don’t see how a checkpoint presumes anything about your guilt or innocence. The state has a responsibility to keep driving as safe as possible. Red light cameras don’t assume you’re guilty, nor do speed traps. Checkpoints make sure you’re not drunk. They don’t assume anything, and for that reason I fail to see where your “rights” are being violated.

          • SomeGuy

            Justices Stevens, Brennan, and Marshall agreed with me in this case:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Dept._of_State_Police_v._Sitz

            Chief Justice Rehnquist, despite ruling in the majority, agreed too:
            “While acknowledging that such checkpoints infringed on a constitutional right, Chief Justice Rehnquist argued the state interest in reducing drunk driving outweighed this minor infringement.”
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_checkpoint#Legality_in_the_United_States

            So you may “fail to see where… ‘rights’ are being violated,” but legal minds more reputable than both of ours saw it.

          • Josh S

            Raven -

            I think your concern for the police officer is misplaced. He or she has the power in the form of the gun and the badge. It’s the drivers who are being inconvenienced and coerced. Their freedom is being compromised by the state. The police officer is just the tool.

          • Joe

            People have a constitutional right to silence.That means, at this DUI checkpoint, It is my constitutional right to offer my identification, vehicle registration, possibly proof of insurance, and then say, “Sir, I mean no disrepect, but I don’t want do anything more than is lawfully required, so I’m going to exercise my constitutional right to silence.”

            Anything more is self incrimination. And as bad as that butt-hurts anyone’s thoughts of the need for police to maintain safety, those are the rules. It’s an imperfect and unsafe world.

            The old “If you aren’t driving drunk you have nothing to worry about,” is just way to trick people into voluntarily submitting their rights. The only time it really matters. Your rights to due process only every really matter when you are involved with the state, and you and other people like you think that we should just give them up, in the name of saving a few people. Tyranny.

          • Sean

            I think everyone who thinks this practice is nothing more than a violation of their civil rights should take a field trip to the morgue or the ER Department of GW Hospital on a weekend night. After you clean up after someone out ‘having a good time’ a few times, infringement of civil liberties doesn’t seem to matter that much…

          • JamesE

            What would seeing dead bodies from DC murders have anything to do with a dui checkpoint?

          • Sean

            GW is one of the places DC & VA FD’s take all serious patients smart guy. That included people who get run over or hit by drunk drivers.

          • JamesE

            Where do they take the dead bodies caused by traffic deaths due to people just being terrible at driving? They should have 24/7 checkpoints for them as well.

          • KalashniKEV

            “After you clean up after someone out ‘having a good time’ a few times, infringement of civil liberties doesn’t seem to matter that much…”

            Ummm… no, they still do. Violate my right to privacy at your peril. Thanks!

          • Sean

            Where do you live Kev? I’ll be by later.

          • KalashniKEV

            To infringe upon my civil liberties?

            You must really be at the end of your rope…

          • Josh S

            Well, this is the reality that caused the Supreme Court to rule in favor of these checkpoints. They decided that there was a societal good served by having them and that that good outweighed the infringement on individual rights.

            It’s just unfortunate that there is no way for the courts to take into account the accumulation of each infringement in the name of safety / security. So we have checkpoints, airport security theater, the inane touching of IDs when you walk into certain buildings, searching purses when you go to this museum but not that museum, the searching of bags at random Metro station entrances, etc. Together, they are a little like death from a thousand cuts.

          • CommonCents

            The next time you call to report a crime, I hope the cop pulls up, doesn’t get out of his car, rolls down his window the minimal amount, and asks you what you’d like to report, in doing his job minimally. No big deal, it’d just be a peaceful protest against the practice of ungrateful and entitled citizens. All the dollars, and no cents.

          • SomeGuy

            You’re not very good at analogies, are you?

          • TooEasy

            They just have you fill out a report on via internet, get with the times oldster.

          • chipotle_addict

            >If you’re sober, you’ve got nothing to worry about

            I worry about my tax dollars being wasted.

          • Whiners_suck

            Haha…first I must say…if you are worried about your tax dollars being wasted, you might want to focus on worse offenders that police sobriety check points…but that said. You’ll worry just until you child/best friend/wife/husband/whatever gets their head torn off after a drunk driver t-bones your vehicle. I’ve seen it happen…kind of disturbing…unless you’re into that kind of thing. Seriously…body was hanging from stop sign without a head…and oh by the way…they had been buckled up…in an SUV.

          • Sully

            I hope they run everybody through the ICE database while they are stopping them. Hey, if you are legal, you have nothing to worry about. If you are illegal, I hope you get caught and imprisoned. Civil Rights!

          • KalashniKEV

            That’s like saying, “If the only available seats are in the back, what’s wrong with making someone sit in the back of the bus?”

            lol

          • Josh S

            I *knew* there was a place where our viewpoints would overlap!

            +1

          • Josh S

            Ah yes, the ol’ if you’ve got nothing to hide why are you worried argument.

            We start with the premise that a) all of us have rights that cannot be taken away by the government and b) we are innocent until proven guilty. Together, they mean that the power of the government is limited and it is incumbent upon them to prove that we have done anythinng wrong. Not the other way around.

            A checkpoint is a requirement that we prove we have not done anything wrong. That’s why it’s BS.

      • KalashniKEV

        Who’s the D-bag if you’re NOT intoxicated and they choose to violate your individual liberties?

        • Sam

          By taking a driver’s license test, you’ve already explicitly consented to producing it upon request by the government. Driving on government-run highways is not a protected right.

          There is a 100% chance that you will NOT be approached by police for a random license and DUI search if you drive on your own privately-owned roads.

          • MayorOfWestover

            What if they ask you to produce your license before you vote? Are you explicitly required to present it on request from the government?

      • Josh S

        This is just crazy. He/she may not have made the decision to hold the checkpoint, but they are the one carrying it out. They don’t get to hide behind some unseen commander. It’s *their* authority / decision once the checkpoint is underway.

        And it’s not being a d-bag. One does not have an automatic requirement to obey every command given by police. You have rights. If this video is real, he actually was pretty brave.

        (Why does it appear in the video that the interview is taking place out the passenger side window?)

        • Quoth the Raven

          Nobody is saying (or at least I’m not) that you have to “obey every command given by police”. But if checkpoints are legal, and the police are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, then you do not have a “right” to disobey. If the police cross the line and, as one poster suggested, ask to look in your trunk or whatever, then sure, go ahead and say “no”. And to reiterate – my original d-bag comment was in response to someone who posted “don’t cooperate”. Checkpoints are legal. Whether they should be legal or shouldn’t be is a fair question and one open to a fascinating law school discussion. But that discussion is irrelevant when it comes to an actual, legal checkpoint. And you do have rights. But here, the Supreme Court has told us what our rights are. Not cooperating with a checkpont isn’t one of them.

          When you are not cooperating simply because you don’t like the law, then you are, in fact, being a d-bag. If the cop is doing what he’s supposed to do, and you’re giving the cop a hard time simply because you don’t like the law, then you are, in fact, being a d-bag.

          • Josh S

            Nah.

            Please see Kev’s comments above.

            You are really stepping in some deep doo-doo there.

            Fortunately for all of us, there is a long history of people not cooperating with laws / practices because they recognized them as being unjust.

            Besides, it does seem to me that there are limits to what can and cannot happen at a checkpoint. I think that being minimally cooperative is a far cry from being a d-bag. Again, if the video is real, it appears that you can simply refuse to answer any questions and the police have no right to detain you against your will. (Obviously, this wouldn’t work if there was probable cause to believe you were, in fact, drunk.)

          • Quoth the Raven

            You seem to be equating civil disobedience with someone hassling a cop b/c he doesn’t want to stop at a checkpoint. Big difference.

            And is Kev seriously comparing an attempt to keep the roads safe from drunk driving with bus segregation? And you’re OK with that?

            Or do you mean Kev’s vague “liberties” comment? People tend to confuse “rights” with “privileges”. Driving on public roads is not a right. And there is a significant state interest in trying to keep us safe from the drunks.

          • Josh S

            What’s the difference?

            I’m not sure whether driving on public roads is a right or not. Are you saying the state can restrict my ability to move around?

            But in any case, driving on roads is not the right, or privilege, that is being abused here. It’s the right to privacy and the right against unreasonable search and seizure.

            Checkpoints also violate the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” which undergirds our legal system.

          • SomeGuy

            I disagree. I endorsed cooperating minimally and legally. If your stop takes an additional 5 minutes to get through, then that’s 5 extra minutes you’ve tied up that officer during a finite window of checkpointing. Meaning you’ve likely spared a fellow citizen from having to endure the checkpoint. As I stated, QTR, it’s a peaceful protest. And peaceful protest that harms no one involved is not a “d-bag” move. It’s a principled stance. That’s what you’re not seeming to process.

          • Quoth the Raven

            And I keep telling you that I wasn’t responding to you!!! I was responding to TGOEA, who said “Don’t cooperate.” I have no problem with minimal cooperation for whatever reason – principled stance or whatever, and I agree that if you do that, you’re not being a jerk.

            But if you needlessly hassle the cop, then you are being a jerk.

            And by the way, what if that “fellow citizen” that you’ve spared is drunk?

          • SomeGuy

            I got that you weren’t referring to me. I was responding to this line: “If the cop is doing what he’s supposed to do, and you’re giving the cop a hard time simply because you don’t like the law, then you are, in fact, being a d-bag.”

            My point was that one can give a “hard time” while also being legally cooperative and not being a d-bag. Maybe I’m splitting hairs.

            But you and I seem to have reached a general understanding of each other on this matter.

            And if the “fellow citizen” is drunk, I hope they’ll use less questionable means to catch him.

    • nom de guerre

      Beware of the flashlight that contains a passive alcohol sensor-it has a pump that “sniffs” your breath without you even knowing it.

      http://www.alcopro.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=A&Product_Code=218&category_code=ATI

      • T.G.E.o.A

        Thanks. Let me add that you should fart and cup it to the window before rolling it down a crack.

    • Phillip

      If they ask you to do the calisthenics, they have already decided to brethalyze you, they’re just looking for additional evidence. There is no way to “pass” the calisthenics test. The conversation before the magistrate will go something like this:

      Officer: “In addition to a breathalyzer reading of X.X, I smelled an odor of alcohol in the car. Also, during the field sobriety test he slurred during the ABC’s, wobbled during while trying to walk a straight line, and had trouble finding the center of his nose.” Regardless of whether you did any of those things. If, by any chance, a decent lawyer gets the breathalyzer test excluded from evidence, this will serve as backup. Nothing they ask you to do “voluntarily” will ever help you in court, or help you avoid arrest to begin with. Ever.

      Not that it really matters, because it’s difficult to get brethalyzer results excluded and, as has been pointed out, refusal to submit to one is its own separate offense.

      I’m not defending drinking and driving, just pointing out how the system works, and the purpose of the “voluntary” tests. People should know.

      • T.G.E.o.A..

        Yeah, don’t volunteer jack.

  • Bob the Builder

    A handy reference for those looking to collect their first Dewey on Friday night:

    http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/dmv168.pdf

    • buzz

      What about buzzed driving?

      • Richard Cranium

        No, that’s fine. They’ll let you go if you tell them you only had “two beers.”

    • chipotle_addict

      > If your driving is affected
      because you are under the influence of any drug,
      you may face the same penalties as driving under the
      influence of alcohol.

      So, if some jerk who drank too much coffee impatiently honks at you, you could get him a DUI?

      Sweet!

      Seriously, the wording used in some laws is so terrible. I understand the idea- lets make everything illegal, and then selectively enforce it so people aren’t generally pissed off about it. Then when they actually need an excuse to arrest you, it’s easy because you are already doing something illegal.

  • checkpointdewey

    you’d think they’d be checkpointing tonight with all the mardi gras amateurs that will be out.

    • KalashniKEV

      Good thing I’m a Mardi Gras PRO! ;)

      • nunya

        +++

  • D’oh

    So… people here will get all up in arms and make vitriolic comments about a cyclist involved in a traffic accident, regardless of who’s at fault, yet they’ll offer tips for avoiding and beating DUI checkpoints. This is beyond disgusting, even for the interwebs.

    (Pre-emptive disclaimer: Yeah, some comments are intended to be funny, but others clearly aren’t.)

    • Good Grief

      Agreed. If you can afford the drinks, you can afford Red Top – 703-522-3333.

      • SomeGuy

        Some people have principles that oppose DUI checkpoints, in part because a checkpoint presumes guilt until the driver proves himself innocent (vs. a presumption of innocence until the state proves guilt). Such people aren’t necessarily encouraging anyone to drive drunk. They’re encouraging their fellow citizens to not participate in a process they perceive as a violation of their rights.

        See how theirs a difference?

        • Swag

          A checkpoint isn’t a presumption of guilt.

          • novasteve

            It sure is, you have to prove you aren’t drunk to be able to leave one, otherwise you get arrested, the burden has been switched to the driver. If you don’t comply with a request, you’ll get arrested. You aren’t free to leave.

          • jackson

            Maybe the police just want to be sure you have “all the information you need to make an informed decision” about whether or not you should drive drunk.

            I am so not surprised that you are upset about a legal procedure designed to catch persons doing something illegal while at the same time you vigorously supported women being forced to undergo an invasive medical procedure in order to do something already legal.

          • R0bespierre

            I don’t drive drunk, I just believe in our constitution.

            “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and Warrants shall not be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

            Searching every car or searching randomly defies probable cause and is certainly “unreasonable” since there is no specific reason why a specific person is being targeted. Checkpoints and random searching are unconstitutional.

          • jackson

            You’re free to devote the next five years to fighting this all the way to the supreme court. Perhaps the ACLU will chip in for legal fees.

        • Whiners_suck

          No…I don’t see how “theirs” a difference. They aren’t presuming anything…they are simply trying in the most efficient and effective manner to get drunk drivers off the road. The only thing pissing everyone off is how effective it actually is. And don’t complain about the cops, complain about the drunk drivers…”they’re” the reason we get stuck in we get stuck in these traps in the first place.

          • novasteve

            How is the most efficient way to stop everyone driving, with no suspicion at all, rather than target the people whose driving shows signs of inebriation? I’d tihnk the vast vast majority of people they stop in the checkpoint are NOT driving intoxicated, I would think they might get 1 or 2 people the whole evenening, whereas I think the arrest rate is much higher when they pull over car for driving erractically.

          • SomeGuy

            Yes, target the one typo I make every dozen or so posts. It makes you look smart.

            Plenty of people think that a checkpoint is an illegal search. 10 states prohibit them for that reason:
            http://www.ehow.com/list_6779230_states-prohibit-dui-checkpoints_.html

            Chief Justice Rehnquist said the same in his ruling on the matter, summarized here:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_checkpoint#Legality_in_the_United_States

            You happen to disagree, and that suggests you are more comfortable with small encroachments on your constitutional rights than I am. Congratulations.

      • Cabbey

        and Yellow Cab 703-522-2222

  • novasteve

    Can I take a wild guess they will put up this checkpoint by bars wherever the closed metro stop is on the blue or orange line in arlington over the weekend since you know it’s inevitable metro will close down a station, and thus more people will be driving.

  • T.G.E.0.A….

    What she said

  • novasteve

    I still don’t see why peple don’t understand why some might be upset with a checkpoint. It treats EVERYONE like a criminal. Is this the kind of society you want to live in that simply for going to the store, or the library, that you assume the risk of being treated like a criminal?

    Why not have inspection lines for people leaving the library to make sure they aren’t stealing books?

    You get treated like a criminal for driving, for going to the airport, for entering a government building, etc. Nobody sees a problem with this?

    • Good Grief

      There are some exceptions the law makes for the good of the whole. The Sex Offender registry is a complete violation, but who is going to advocate for sex offenders? Also coming from a more personal place, I’ve lost a good friend to a drunk driver. If there there wasn’t the demand for this, it wouldn’t happen. If people stop drinking and driving, your harmonious society would exist.

      • SomeGuy

        Good Grief, it’s a question of principle. For those who look upon government with a healthy dose of skepticism, the excuse that “oh, it’s only a small encroachment on my freedom” today is not a particularly convincing argument. I don’t always perceive giving up individual liberties as a contribution to “the good of the whole.”

        • Good Grief

          There are very few of these exceptions. Drunk drivers affect themselves and everyone on the road. I’d be less inclined to agree with your point if it involved just the individual. Plus these check points are being made public.

          • Good Grief

            more inclined*

          • SomeGuy

            Ahh, I see. Infringements on constitutional rights are more palatable as long as they are publicized.

          • Good Grief

            Weird and yet the Supreme Court allows these check points to continue, how bout that?

          • SomeGuy

            Chief Justice Rehnquist and several other justices said in their opinions about the matter that they perceive it as an infringement. I side with the minority. So what’s your point?

            Publicizing it doesn’t make it any less an infringement than I perceive it to be. Your post suggests you think publicizing an infringement makes it okay to infringe.

          • jackson

            I wish the writers had tossed in a line about abortion being okay so people would defend THAT legal right as strenuously as they do all the others.

      • Nathan Hale

        Cancer sucks. Maybe police blockages to check the prostate gland. It’s quick and you can be on your way.

  • cheeseeater

    Last year (or 2 years ago?) it was at the post office at s. glebe and s. columbia pike. They didn’t pull me over though cause the lot was packed with people already in there. Or so I’m guessing based on what I saw.

  • Columbia Pike Monorail

    Good think I do all my drunk driving in DC and Maryland.

    • KalashniKEV

      Gotta get them back at least a little!

  • Dezlboy

    Hold an aspirin between your knees.

    • Elle

      +1

  • @gogogaryo

    The heads up is nice… so basically it’s more of an IQ test than a DUI check at this point.

  • novasteve

    Another point about how this is an abuse, and “security searches” on public transport are abuses, is that if this really were only about stopping drunk drivers, or preventing terrorism on trains, then why do they utilize plain view and bust you for other things? If it really were about their stated goal, they would stop you for the things they say they are looking for, and anything else would be inadmissible. They don’t find that you’re drunk, but see something that’s illegal but doesn’t pose a risk to drivers on the road. You get busted. It makes their stated purpose dishonest.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mCh469IrWo&feature=youtube_gdata_player Tom Sawyer

    Better watch the following DUI fighter video. Secrets to Winning DUI.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mCh469IrWo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • Richard Cranium

    The Police AND the Sherrif’s Department are going to be manning this checkpoint? I hope no wanna-be bank robbers are reading this and getting any funny ideas . . .

  • ArlLawyer

    I just looked up the most recent national stats from the FBI and NHTSA. There are more people killed by drunk drivers every year than there are people killed by murderers every year. So when the cops are stopping drunk drivers, they are saving more lives (possibly yours or mine) than when they are out stopping murders.

    I doubt that the cops want to be out in the rain and cold in the middle of the night trying to catch drunks but that is necessary so that you and I can drive home without having to worry that you or I will get killed or maimed by a drunk driver.

    So 1: Don’t drink and drive; 2: If you get stopped at a checkpoint, be polite and cooperative and you will get out of there much faster than if you give the cop a hard time because most folks (not all but most) who give the cop a hard time are drunk and the cop will keep you there until he determines if you are drunk or just being a jerk.

    • JimPB

      Amen

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mCh469IrWo&feature=youtube_gdata_player Tom Sawyer

      Your advice sucks. Are you a prosecutor? You sound like a prosecutor.

      • esmith69

        Seriously, that’s all you have to say? “Your advice sucks”????

        It really is a simple concept: Don’t drive drunk, don’t drive around with illegal weapons or drugs in your car, and check your lights to make sure they are working. As long as that’s all taken care of, you have nothing to worry about.

        You can fight the concept of checkpoints all you want, but as many have already pointed out, the issue has already been decided by the Supreme Court. Time to move on to more important issues.

      • ArlLawyer

        No, I am not a prosecutor but I have several friends who are prosecutors and several friends who defend drunk drivers.

        And I am sure that all of them would give the same advice: If you haven’t been drinking, cooperate at the checkpoint and get out of there much faster. If you are DUI (or worse for you, if you are just below the limit) your lack of cooperation will make the cop suspicious and will cause you to be looked at more thoroughly. Then when it is time to plea-bargain, the prosecutor will be less inclined to cooperate with you.

        • Jason S.

          So, just you know, get used to it. Then when they step it up to random stops on streets, just comply so you can get out of their sooner.

          • Jason S.

            *there* ><

        • Joe

          Go along to get along. Is it any wonder why America is in the pooper?

  • Henry

    The best suggestion here so far is to run simultaneous ICE checks. Substitute “don’t drive drunk” with “don’t be here illegally” and I wonder about how many of the above arguments change.

    • KalashniKEV

      If they’re going to stop you on your way to make sure you’re not drunk, it only makes sense that they could check your immigration status.

      It probably wouldn’t hurt to get a blood sample either and run an HIV test. If you come back positive they could just give you a little tattoo on your hand or something and send you on your way.

      Actually, let’s just not stop people without suspicion.

  • Jason S.

    I don’t drink and I walk to work, but I still oppose these checkpoints for plenty of reasons cited above. Is that allowed, or can I only worry about rights that affect me in the most immediate sense? Hell, I don’t even mind smoking in bars although I don’t smoke (I’m not forced to hang out in them).

    • Richard Cranium

      BEGONE HEATHEN! Your rational and sensible comments have no place in this discourse! You are hereby banished forever!

  • Arlingtonian Stuck in an Alexandrian Body

    Wow people. I don’t get what all the fuss is about. I’m happy they’re doing these sobriety check points. Last thing I want – while leaving a bar and getting in a cab after a fun night – is a drunk driver plowing into me and getting me killed.

    Kudos for ACPD for doing this. My gripe with this, however, is why would ACPD announce that they will be doing this? Why not just set up random checkpoints at random times, announced? That’s how you’ll catch them.

  • arlingtonliver

    I understand some people that want to always live by the words of the Constitution, but the fact is the world is a lot different in 2012 than it was in 1776. The guys that wrote the constitution did not have reckless people driving hundred/thousand pound vehichles. Certain things need to evolve over time…i 100% support the police having checkpoints, especially in areas that are known for drunk drivers.

    Sounds simpe to me, DONT DRINK AND DRIVE. take a cab or have a DD for the group.

    • SomeGuy

      arlingtonliver, that’s pretty much the impasse, isn’t it? You “100% support” giving up your constitutional rights prohibiting an illegal search. Others don’t.

      • Good Grief

        You seem overly passionate about this topic. Why don’t you wrote your Congressman, attend a County Board meeting or do something more proactive?

        • SomeGuy

          Helping people like you understand why people like me care about the civil liberties you’re so eager to discard is fine with me for now, thanks.

          • Good Grief

            And yet, you haven’t changed one of our opinions just as I have not changed yours. My comments were to inform people that in VA (infringement or not) there is little to do at these checkpoints other than to cooperate as an attempt to prevent readers from drinking and driving. I have more respect for people who stand up and take action for their beliefs. Don’t worry, when Festivus comes around, I’ll make sure you’re the first to get the grievance pole.

          • SomeGuy

            Should I assume you speak for everyone who read my posts and did NOT already come to this thread with a draconian predisposition?

          • Good Grief

            Pretty sure that my ‘way of thinking’ is the current law. You speak of these Justices ‘opinions’ and yet, they have yet to file any Court ruling. Maybe they would if people like you would do something about it.

            In the meantime, I’m going to be thankful that ACPD are working to keep streets safer for everyone.

          • SomeGuy

            Supreme Court minority “opinions” don’t constitute rulings in your book? Reread here please:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Dept._of_State_Police_v._Sitz

            Your way of thinking is current law in Virginia. So if your point is that laws can sometimes reflect a short-sighted “way of thinking,” then I cede your point.

            I will further cede this one: you are correct that I will not change the opinions of someone who doesn’t read my comments. You did a nice job of demonstrating that you didn’t read them carefully, or you’d have seen that I previously linked to that Wikipedia article.

          • Good Grief

            Yes, I’ve noticed that you’ve posted the oh so scientific “wiki” source 4 times now? I was trying to be helpful when I encouraged you to do more than take minutes out of your day and take action. You seem intelligent and passionate enough so what’s your excuse? I hear the County Board is looking for help.

          • Boom! Roasted

            I appreciate SomeGuy taking the time to thoughtfully articulate his viewpoint and provide links throughout the commentary on this article. It might not influence the MADD crew or others who are adamant in consenting to searches, but there’s plenty of people who read without commenting. Just the idea that people are challenging the rationale behind DUI checkpoints seems to be a whole new world for some. If it gets more people thinking instead of blindly complying, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

          • arlingtonliver

            If SomeGuy had a friend or family member killed or put in critical condition, i think his opinion would be different.

            Like others have states, driving is not a right, it is a privilege. Having police monitor that you are obeying the laws of that privilege with regards to DUI i think are justified.

          • SomeGuy

            Thanks, Boom!

            arlingtonliver, I’m not sure what grounds you have to think my opinion would change under those circumstances, or to presume I haven’t been affected by those circumstances.

            The fact that a person could refuse to let an emotional event affect his/her objective opinion on a matter of constitutionality shouldn’t be so foreign to you.

            You happen to think that checkpoints are “justified” because the ends justify the means. I can fathom how you reached that conclusion, but I don’t agree with it. What disturbs me is that you don’t appear to understand my logic, which is that this IS a presumption of guilt until one proves his innocence. Whether or not you think it’s a justified infringement, can you at least see the rationale behind why I consider it an infringement?

          • arlingtonliver

            SomeGuy- I understand your logic. But it’s not like the police are coming into your home or confronting you while walking down the street. They are stationed at a location to monitor a PRIVLEGE you have in a public area, not a right. It is for the well being of those fellow citizens. I for one care about the lives of others. This is by no means is a solution, but it is without a doubt a reason SOME people think twice before getting behind the wheel.

          • Josh S

            What is with this constant repeating of “driving is a privilege” drivel?

            How does the police checkpoint infringe upon my driving? No one is arguing that.

            It’s a *privacy* issue. A *unreasonable search and seizure* issue. *Those* are the rights violated.

            (As an aside, I’m not entirely sure whether driving is a privilege. But that’s a completely different discussion….)

    • Josh S

      Yeah, I fail to see how the changes in the world over the last two hundred years mean that our rights have changed. Sure, there are times when those rights must be compromised. But I personally think that the rights themselves are chiseled in stone and essentially immutable.

      In other words, even if “the guys” who wrote the Constitution did have automobiles, I seriously doubt it would have changed their concept of human rights. Look at all the statements of rights that other nations have passed over the years – none of them, as far as I know, carves out a diminution of rights for the purpose of having DUI checkpoints.

      • arlingtonliver

        My comment was more focused on those that claim this is ‘being forced to prove innocence rather than innoncent to be proven guility’. Driving is NOT a right, it is a priviledge (as a few others have stated), having checkpoints to monitor you are obeying the the rules of your privledge i feel are fine. especially when the lives of innocent people are at risk.

        • Josh S

          I’m sensing the inability to see a given set of circumstances from a different point of view……

        • Joe

          That is actually incorrect. Multiple courts have found that driving is a right.
          I’m too lazy to find references, and even if i did you wouldn’t believe me.

  • Me ke

    I can’t believe how many people here are cracking jokes and trying to suggest ways of getting around this. So let me address this directly to those of you who are…go to the mirror and with all the gusto you can muster call yourself an A-hole. I had five friend murdered at one time because a drunk driver thought he wouldn’t get caught drunk. It’s not an infringement on your rights it’s for the protection of the folks you put your arms around when you say I love you. Man up and show some maturity

    • OldTimer

      Word. Don’t drink and drive. Simple.

      • Me ke

        Thanks buddy…when your drunk the car is not a vehicle…it’s a weapon

    • Boom! Roasted

      What’s stopping police from pulling over drunk drivers? If they’re drunk enough to kill people while driving it should be pretty obvious by their road behavior. Get some cops out patrolling and they shouldn’t have a problem pulling over those who are truly a danger to others.

      A DUI checkpoint is basically a shortcut to policing that infringes on peoples’ rights. It’s laziness affirmed by the Supreme Court.

      • OldTimer

        ‘Drunk’ is way beyond being impaired enough to drive safely. Given that we have limited resources, checkpoints serve as ‘preventive’ measures BEFORE someone gets hurt or killed. Hopefully the promise of a checkpoint somewhere unknown will make someone think twice and call a cab or hand keys over. OF COURSE not all agree as we see from these posts. Back in my day there was a local saloon on almost every block, so you would never have to cross the street to get home. Gotta go it is 5 o’clock somewhere… walkable.

    • Joe

      Get some perspective.

      People have rights that can’t be thrown away regardless that you were personally adversely affected.

      I know someone whom’s child was murdered in the VaTech massacre. Should we outlaw guns now? Start federal registration of ownership, and forensic tracking of guns and bullets? How about the people who were killed on 9-11. I’m sure their families don’t a a flying fart about the rights of middle-eastern Americans. Flying isn’t a right. So lets have anal cavity searches of all people who aren’t WASPs.

      It is sad how so many are so ignorant of due process and the rule of law. The consequences of living in a free world are that bad things happen. You can’t police away personal irresponsibility, and when your attempts to do so include discarding fundamental concepts of American Jurisprudence, expect people to hold the police and the people that support them in contempt.

  • bob32

    My only beef with this is that they are ANNOUNCING it beforehand! What on earth for? If you want to catch people drinking and driving, don’t warn them first!

    Those people saying this violates civil rights, remember: Driving is a privilege, not a right. There is a compelling public interest in doing these checkpoints. If you don’t want to have your breath checked, then fine–don’t drive.

    • Boom! Roasted

      There is a compelling public interest…that could be served just fine without DUI checkpoints and infringing on civil rights.

      By your logic, why are we stopping with potential drunk drivers? Organized crime is shipping heroin and assault weapons across the country every day. Why don’t we have 24/7 checkpoints that can search every vehicle and person? There’s a compelling public interest to stop organized crime in our communities.

      Or let’s revisit the compelling public interest behind DUI checkpoints: keeping others from harm. Why are we letting people with inferior mental capabilities, judgement, or motor coordination operate vehicles? If driving is a privilege and we want to prevent deaths, shouldn’t we limit the roads to only the most qualified drivers? If we eliminated half the population from driving, traffic deaths would barely exist. That kind of improvement far exceeds any gains from random DUI checkpoints.

      • Me ke

        I really hate asking a sophomoric question but after reading this..but will your philosophical and well stated response be the same when you become conscious after a drunk driver has rear-ended you and you look into the back seat and find your child injured and bleeding in her car seat?

        • Done and Done

          Drunk driving/drivers aren’t the only ones that could cause that, though. While I sympathize with your views, the killing and maiming of the child could just as easily come from a truck driver who veered to avoid hitting a pedestrian and instead t-boned your car. Would you then be in such an outrage to remove all truck drivers or all pedestrians since they were the cause?

          Nobody is arguing against getting drunk drivers off the road – merely the method that is used. There are other, more effective methods, but they require more manpower to employ.

        • Jason S.

          Sophomoric is right. It is just a really weak appeal to emotion.

          • Me ke

            Weak yeah….until its your kid

      • arlingtonliver

        BOOM! – I agree with some of what you say for sure. I think states need to take more control and be more strict on who operates vehicles. Some do more than others. Teenagers should have much stricter lawes and i feel the older we get (60, 70, 80) we should have to pass tests more frequently in order to keep the license. Whether it is every year, every other year..etc

        • Driver

          Ditto on the need to have much stricter requirements and tests for obtaining and maintaining a driver’s license. Incompetent drivers can rack up multiple moving/safety related infractions and still get to keep their license. After the second moving infraction there should be at least some suspension of driving priviledges while remedial courses are taken (at the drivers expense).

  • Curious

    Anyone have any idea where this could possibly be? I am going out for dinner tonight there.

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