Archive for Friday, October 15, 2010

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to conduct sobriety check lane Saturday night

October 15, 2010


The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a sobriety check lane from 11 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday in Douglas County.

Officers will target impaired drivers and monitor compliance with all Kansas traffic laws.

Sgt. Steve Lewis, a sheriff’s spokesman, said the sobriety check lane is part of the Impaired Driving Deterrence Program, a partnership of local law enforcement agencies and the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office.

The partnership is aimed at reducing the number of traffic deaths, injuries and the cost of property damage. The sheriff’s office typically does not identify where it will set up the check lane.


jfcm77 7 years, 8 months ago

Well, if you aren't drunk -- or if you are, you aren't driving -- this check lane won't bother you.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

Yes that is why the constitution says just let the government do its job and bend over for inspection on demand.

doc1 7 years, 8 months ago

It's also bothersome when your family members get killed by a drunk driver.

Paul Geisler 7 years, 8 months ago

I thought law enforcement had to announce in advance where they are going to set up sobriety checkpoints, but I see that the Supreme Court ruled against that a few years ago.

"Five defendants argued that the checkpoint was unconstitutional, because no aggressive advance notice occurred. The Supreme Court disagreed, noting that aggressive advanced notice of such a checkpoint was a state attorney general guideline, not law."

I guess I'm not too surprised since law enforcement officials have been resorting to all kinds of questionable behavior to write more tickets and increase their revenue. I suspect some of the people they remove from behind the driver's seat pose a danger to others, but certainly not all of them.

Ltown2Dtown 7 years, 8 months ago

Great timing. Choosing to deter drunk driving during the weekend that the college students have gone else where for the extended weekend. Coincidence?

Casey_Jones 7 years, 8 months ago

Also, the weekend many college students have come back home to spend an extended weekend home with the friends that they never see....

MarshmallowsFTW 7 years, 8 months ago

This does not bother me at all. I would rather deal with a checkpoint than have to deal with my car be totaled by a drunken college student. Can we set this up around downtown and near the college bars please?

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 8 months ago

That's right. I'd like to see more sobriety checkpoints set up. I don't really know why they should have to give advance notice at all. It seems to me that curtailing traffic deaths, injuries, and property damage is the job of the police in the first place. I'd rather see them out increasing revenue in a way that actually does some good.

They don't have to tell you when they are going to be posted up in the shadows in some obscure parking lot somewhere shooting radar, writing tickets to sober motorists going more than 5 over do they? Why should they have to warn you when they are going to be out pulling drunk drivers off the streets?

Paul Geisler 7 years, 8 months ago

If they pull you over for breaking a law I have no problem with that, but for them to pull over everyone traveling on a street/highway at a checkpoint, whether they are breaking a law or not, is an invasion of privacy.

lawdog 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm with you on that "marshmallowsFTW"!

"Too many of our children and residents are victims of one person's night of stupidity"!

Sunny Parker 7 years, 8 months ago

How about focusing on keeping the drunks on foot out of the streets! It's no wonder people are getting ran over with vehicles! Stupid kids!

Jim Phillips 7 years, 8 months ago

I think the LJ World should just cut and paste the posts everytime they run a check lane story. It will save time. Bottom line: It's legal. If you don't like it, why not? Your rights are not infringed since driving is not a right. There are no 4th Amendment issues concerning the check lane itself. It just might save a life. Get over it!

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 8 months ago

In finding that checkpoints were constitutionally permissible, the U.S. Supreme Court readily acknowledged that drivers stopped at checkpoints are seized under the 4th Amendment. The Court said, though, that the state's strong interest in keeping the roadways safe from drunk drivers made the seizure reasonable and thus not a violation. The right involved isn't driving (that favorite line of pro-checkpoint folks that driving is a privilege does not appear in the decision); the right involved is the right against warrantless searches and seizures. So, yes, there are 4th Amendment issues and at least 10 state supreme courts have reached found checkpoints violate their own state constitutional search and seizure provisions.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 8 months ago

I have been through a checkpoint before. Several times. I was not searched, nor was I seized. I was spoken to for about 15 seconds and sent on my way. In my opinion, it was time well spent. I may even go so far as to say that the donation of that precious time was a matter of civic duty. My cooperation helped the police protect dozens and dozens of people, perhaps.

I don't really see it as a constitutional issue at all. If 10 states say it is, then there are 40 states that say it isn't. What about the rights of my children, or myself, or ANYONE not to be the victim of a foolish drunk behind the wheel? LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Drunk drivers are an affront to all of our rights. It is self evident.

heath 7 years, 8 months ago

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are not constitutional rights. That quote is part of the Declaration of Independence. The US Constitution does not grant your children, yourself, or anyone the right to not "be the victim of a foolish drunk behind the wheel." If you'd like to see that added as an amendment, speak to your congresspeople.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, thanks for the lesson. That is why I did not claim that it was in the Constitution. Incidentally, it is also why I wrote that it was "Self Evident". I do not need it in the Constitution, We are all endowed by our "Creator with certain inalienable rights". They are self evident, and therefore, not a constitutional issue. I crafted that closing sentence to support the topic of that paragraph. Way to zero in on absolutely nothing. Some people will argue about anything.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 8 months ago

My point was that the US Supreme Court acknowledges this is a 4th Amendment issue. I, too, have been through a checkpoint and even though my stop was also short, I have no doubt that I was seized. The Supreme Court sees it that way, too. It doesn't have to be a seizure of more than 15 seconds to qualify as a seizure for 4th Amendment purposes. I did not feel like I was doing my civic duty; I just felt like I was being unlawfully detained.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 8 months ago

If you felt so strongly about it at the time, then you should have resisted and made yourself a case. May I presume that protecting your own rights is just not that important to you? If I believed that my person was being unlawfully seized, the result would have been much more dramatic than a strongly worded Lawrence Journal World forum post. ;)

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 8 months ago

'Cause that would have been a good battle to fight: take a night or two in jail and a misdemeanor conviction in the hopes that about 5 years later, I'd get my case to the Supreme Court so they could reverse a 15 year-old decision I strongly disagree with. Commenting on the ljworld forum actually seems less futile.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

Many of you may be surprised to find that law enforcement officers view checkpoints as a waste of resources. 8-10 officer dedicated to driving around and making legitimate stops can save more lives and increase the number of arrests. These checkpoints are to pacify the public and make us think they are doing their job. That is why they advertise them in advance, even though they are not required to do so. Also they receive extra federal and state money to do these. Real police work respecting individual privacy will be better for the community. Just wait for the numbers but there will probably be fewer than 5 dui arrests, after hundreds of law abiding motorist are stopped for no reason.

kusp8 7 years, 8 months ago

Just for the record Law Enforcement is required by the Kansas Supreme Court to announce in the local paper of record, LJWorld for Lawrence, the Topeka Downtown Paper or something like that but not the CJ. Otherwise, the check lanes are considered illegal search and seizures. But I'm not surprised that LEOs feel these check lanes are a waste of time.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

I had not heard that the Kansas Supreme Court required notification. I know the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld their constitutionality and I don't believe they required notification. I will look into it. Do you know if it was a Kansas case or a statutory requirement.

kusp8 7 years, 8 months ago

You could be correct, but I thought it was a KS SC requirement. Maybe it is a part of the US SC requirements, not positive.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

As an aside it was the conservative members of the court who legislated from the bench and as activist judges destroyed our constitutional right to be free from illegal searches.

HogJiver 7 years, 8 months ago

Gosh, back in the "old days" if the cops caught you with a Keg of beer in the back seat of your car they would just run you out of town and tell you not to return until the beer is gone.

I guess times have changed.

james bush 7 years, 8 months ago

Check lanes: where gestapo-like tactics are used to detain people for no obvious reason to check breath and papers............and we wonder why Obama and Holter are suing Arizona for trying to protect its citizens from illegal aliens.

Practicality 7 years, 8 months ago

They should have these checkpoints every single night of the week. Seriously, quit drinking and driving. You are endangering everyone else.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 8 months ago

You can even have an open beer in Texas while driving. I do think 8 or how many officers are out patrolling is a much better way of policing drunk drivers.

sully97 7 years, 8 months ago

Actually, they're not looking for drunk drivers. But if you have a bum in the car...

drywaller5100 7 years, 8 months ago

lawerence sheriff and cops are 2 dumb to go out and catch the drug dealers and crack heads in that town that they have to set up check points . hopeing the bad people will come to them cause that is the only way the police can catch them

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