Monday, September 6, 2010

Constitution, be damned! Man the roadblocks!

Never let it be said that Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam is one to let the law get in the way of his crusades. In fact, after this past weekend, never let it be said that Mr. Diepraam would let the Constitution get in his way.

Sobriety checkpoints were deemed unconstitutional by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals back in 1985 (See Meeks v. State, 602 SW2d 504 (Tex.Crim.App. 1985)). The problem the Court found was that the checkpoint allowed officers to stop motorists without so much as reasonable suspicion and that the process runs afoul of the 4th Amendment prohibition on unreasonable search and seizures.

Mr. Diepraam's latest attempt to skirt the Constitution involves setting up checkpoints in Montgomery County to determine if a motorist stopped for a traffic violation is intoxicated. Sitting at the checkpoint will be a mobile blood alcohol testing truck staffed by two nurses. Also at the checkpoint will be Montgomery County prosecutors and judges all-too-willing to sign a "check-box" warrant application so that the vampires can do their work. Don Quixote's rational is that an officer had at least reasonable suspicion to stop any motorist brought to the checkpoint and, if anyone sniffs alcohol, it will be game on.

You sure you want to refuse that breath test, son?

According to a little bird up in MoCo, prosecutors met with judges to get their okay before announcing this scheme (apparently white smoke was spotted coming out of the chimney). How's that for neutral and detached?

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