Arizona Daily Star: ‘DUI checkpoints costly, catch few’

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The article below was originally published by the Arizona Daily Star on August 26, 2007.

Of special note are the numbers showing sheriff deputies have been paid over $140,000 in overtime from federal grants to conduct DUI roadblocks and that less than half of those arrested at these roadblocks have actually been convicted. Since the arrest rate is already abysmally low at 0.6%, the conviction rate for all motorists needlessly harassed over the past two years is less than 0.3%.

Given the obvious ineffectiveness of these checkpoint regimes, it’s important to point out that our right to travel and our right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure are being violated so that cops can earn overtime pay from their federal handlers.

An important question to consider is how many accidents or deaths have been caused by drunk drivers who weren’t taken off the streets, based upon probable cause, because cops were too busy harassing 46,000+ responsible drivers at suspicionless roadblocks across the county….

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FTL Discusses Homeland Security Checkpoint Experience

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On August 23, 2007, the hosts of Free Talk Live, an online talk radio show in New Hampshire, discussed my experience at a suspicionless Homeland Security checkpoint. The show’s archive is available here.

For those unfamiliar with the encounter, the DHS checkpoint originally took place on April 14, 2005. I posted a web page regarding the incident shortly after being stopped that includes photos, video, and audio of the encounter. I also posted an entry to this blog earlier this year.

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Work & Travel – Casualties in the U.S. War of Terror

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Department of Homeland Security bureaucrats are currently in the process of promulgating rules that will fundamentally alter the American experience – and not for the better.

In the not too distant future, Americans will no longer be able to legally work in their own country without the permission of the federal government. Similarly, Americans won’t be able to legally travel by means of an airline common carrier without government issued identification AND explicit permission from Homeland Security.

In other words, the individual right to work and to travel, rights Americans have enjoyed since before the existence of the federal government, are being transformed before our eyes into mere privileges. Privileges that can be granted or denied at the whim of anonymous bureaucrats with little opportunity to challenge, and in some cases, to even know why.

For those who have been confused about the definition of a police state, it’s now staring you in the face.

Will you welcome it with open arms or seek to restore the limited role of government to the American experience?

TSA VIPR Squad Harassing Bus Riders in Indianapolis

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As recently reported in the Rational Review, A TSA VIPR Squad consisting of plainclothes inspectors, blue-gloved security officers, behavior detection officers, and federal air marshals descended on bus stops in downtown Indianapolis earlier this month. Local IndyGo officials cooperated with the TSA while VIPR agents patted down the public and searched luggage absent reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.

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California Conducts Illegal Fireworks Checkpoint

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A reader recently brought to my attention a radio show by American Radio host David Champion. The show centered around a discussion of a fireworks checkpoint conducted in San Bernardino County, California in June of this year. Since this was the first time I had heard of police checkpoints being premised on the interdiction of fireworks, I did a little digging to gather background information.

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July ’07 Photos of Southern Arizona’s ‘Gauntlet’

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Selected photos from Southern Arizona’s State Route 86 for June and July 2007 are now available. The last few months have shown less active Border Patrol activity but a larger State Police presence and about the same level of Wackenhut Security activity. Wackenhut is the private security firm awarded a contract with Customs & Border Protection to transport alleged illegal aliens around Southern Arizona and back to Mexico.

Whether or not the Border Patrol is spending more time on the border and less time harassing motorists in the interior of the country is unclear but the reduced presence along SR86 recently is certainly a welcome change. I’ll premise this statement however with the knowledge that the Border Patrol is opening a substation in Three Points, Arizona and has announced plans to construct a permanent checkpoint installation forty miles North of the international border along I-19.