I hope everyone had a safe and fun Independence Day weekend and that you missed a meetup any Kentucky DUI checkpoints!
It's no secret that drunk driving spikes on holidays, and police beef up their presence on the streets to try to catch people who probably should've just taken a cab.
One of the favored methods that the police have for trying to snag drunk drivers is by setting up traffic checkpoints. They will stop every car that comes through the checkpoint and try to determine if anyone has been drinking. If they think someone has been drinking, they will investigate further by, for example, running that person through the field sobriety tests.
And while this tactic may catch drunk drivers, it also snags a lot of people who haven't been drinking. While the police may like to think that these checkpoints are Fourth Amendment-free zones, they aren't. You are still protected against unreasonable search and seizure. I came across a video that someone took over this last weekend that is a pretty good example of how to assert your rights when stopped at a checkpoint. And it also has some bonus goodies in it. Here is the video:
There are a couple things wrong about what the video says. For example, if you're driving a car you do have to give the officer your license. The video is instructive on how to act, however. Notice that even though the driver is standing up for his rights, he is being polite and respectful to the officer (even as the officer clearly gets agitated).
The bonus portion of the video comes at about the 4:00 mark, where the officer is actually guiding the drug dog, as opposed to just letting the dog sniff around. Perhaps it's no surprise that the dog “indicates” that there are illegal drugs in the car, despite there being none.
Also, we wouldn't even have this video if the driver wasn't recording it. Anytime you have an encounter with the police, you should always be recording if you're in a state that allows it. Kentucky does!
It's a sad state of affairs when people who are just exercising their rights get treated like criminals. But don't let the police intimidate you into giving up the rights that are the lifeblood of our country — not on the Fourth of July, and not on any other day of the year.