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March 15, 2012 - 8:44am

Sheriff's Office announces first 'enhanced' DWI checkpoint

posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, STOP-DWI.

The Sheriff's Office will run a first-of-its-kind experimental DWI checkpoint March 17 somewhere in the county.

The "enhanced" DWI checkpoints feature the common roadblock, but will also include road patrols in the area looking for drivers who are apparently trying to avoid the checkpoint.

The governor's office is funding enhanced checkpoints as an experiment in four counties to combat a growing prevalence of smart phone apps that help alert drivers to checkpoints as well as other means drivers might find out about a checkpoint and then try to avoid it.

On March 17, the Sheriff's Office will operate the checkpoint and Batavia PD, Le Roy PD and State Police will provide additional patrols.

An officer trained in drug recognition will be at the checkpoint to assist in identifying drivers suspected of being impaired by drugs.

Other enhanced DWI checkpoints will be scheduled during the year in the county, in Batavia and in Le Roy.

The overtime cost associated with the enhanced checkpoints is covered by a $21,775 state grant.

Doug Yeomans
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This is so "off the wall, police state, nanny government Bull Sh**!" If you happen to pull into a driveway before a checkpoint, make a turn down a roadway/street before a checkpoint or decide to turn around because you forgot your wallet, you're now suspect of dodging a checkpoint and subject to being pulled over?

I'm pretty sure I have the right to NOT go through a checkpoint if I don't want to. There's no law that says I must go through ANY checkpoint and I am not subject to a traffic stop if I've not committed a traffic violation. K-turns are not against the law. In fact, they're practiced in drivers-ed.

WTF?!

Edit: What's next? Will we have to obey dedicated routes instead of taking alternative routes or else be subject to suspicion? What in the F*** are we doing giving up freedoms and liberties? Do we now live in the Gestapo States of what used to be America?

Edit #2. I encourage everyone to use apps on their smart phones to avoid checkpoints now. I didn't want anyone using them before, but now I want those cops to be very lonely waiting for someone to legally turn around or to legally drive down any road they wish.

After reading this news report, I'm really losing respect for any law maker that would support this. You have the right to turn down any road you want to and you have the right to turn around. How do those things constitute suspicion? This is crazy.

Kyle Couchman
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heres to seeing the experiment.....flop..... on its proverbial keister.

Doug Yeomans
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You better not have been to the eye doctor and had your pupils dilated for an exam. You'll be suspect of ingesting some kind of mind altering substance. Heaven forbid if you're under pain management and have to take recommended dosages of opiates and your pupils are pinned. You're going to be put through the wringer over that one.

If you take what the doctor prescribes, the label on the bottle clearly says to use caution when operating a vehicle or heavy equipment. It does not say that you cannot drive while taking them under a doctor's care.

Okay..I'll shut up about this now....

Thomas Mooney
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The only roadblock that should be performed or I condone would be in the Street area in front of the old collage dorms . Now that would make a statment as to we don't want drug traffic from rochester into our neighborhoods . DWI is deffinatly a problem but these darn crack houses are ruining our neighborhoods and not a lot of attention is being put towards taking them down . Is it to dangerous for our law enforcement or what . No excuse , put some presure on the dealers and the landlords who rent to them . There is nothing to say we cant do speed patrol right outside these suspected drug houses to deter out in the open crack deals. The presure would drive these crack heads right back to Monroe County.

Doug Yeomans
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I said I was gonna shut up, but I guess not. I can't wait for the lawsuits for illegal stops to be filed, one after another.

Doug Yeomans
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Tom, don't you know that drug houses are ALLOWED to operate? Rookie cops are used for repeated drug purchases over the course of months or years before arrests are made. Meanwhile, the drug sales are allowed to continue.

The police will watch people buy drugs over and over and watch the worst of them wither away right under their noses. It's pathetic and it's why I want a drug treatment system in place instead of an arrest/prison system.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/07/05/ten-years-after-decrimin...

Edit: Anti drug laws aren't in place to protect us. They're in place because it generates tons of money. The police gather intelligence on who the players and dealers are and then bust them. The end result is confiscated cash and property that the police take possession of. That wealth is not returned to society in any meaningful way other than to build a larger police presence.

Maybe SOME cops do actually care about you and I and make the busts because they think they're making a real difference, but in all reality, that's not why we have anti drug laws.

Domestic cannabis cultivation actually hurts Mexican drug cartels. If you can grow whatever you want in your own closet or outdoor garden for your own consumption, you're not buying it from the drug dealer on the corner. Using the same logic that Portugal did, legalizing all drugs puts drug cartels at a disadvantage and pretty much out of business.

tim raines
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Mr Yeomans

Why don't you go to the checkpoint on March 17 and do everything you say you can do, even smoke some pot while you're at it. Show the police who's the boss.

Is this finally catching on in New York?. Enhanced Dwi checkpoints have been utilized everywhere else for years.

Maybe Mr Yeomans wouldn't protest so much if a friend or relative of his has been seriously injured or killed by someone who is DWI...............

Frank Bartholomew
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Tim, maybe alcohol should be illegal, maybe we don't want to have to answer to a cop for doing nothing wrong.
Thats the problem with this country, punish all for the actions of few.

Doug Yeomans
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Why would I smoke pot and go through a checkpoint? What's the matter with you? I'm pretty sure everyone has been touched by a DWI somehow. Just yesterday on this site I said people convicted of DWI should go to jail, lose their car and license and have a felony on their record. I know people who have been victims of a drunk driver, have BEEN the drunk driver AND I've gotten the phone call from the police to pick someone up who was just busted for DWI. Please don't assume I'm a sheltered, ignorant, SOB.

I'm not willing to give up my rights in order to catch someone doing something illegally. I do not care what other states are doing. I live in THIS state and it affects me. Are you willing to give up your rights to privacy and be subject to unlawful traffic stops? Please, be first in line if you are.

Edit: I do not believe that checkpoints should be legal. Even though lawmakers have waved their magic wand and and made them enforceable, I don't have to agree with it. It's an invasion of privacy to be stopped for no reason. If I weave over a line, fail to use a signal, speed, tailgate, etc, then I'm subject to be stopped. There's no valid reason for a cop to stick his or her head into my car at their leisure when I've done nothing wrong. Can they come to your house and hang their head into your window to make sure you're not doing anything wrong inside? Sheesh, Tim, wake up!

Chris Charvella
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Is anyone else ridiculously tempted to stay stone cold sober Saturday night, hop in the car around 1:30am, find the roadblocks and take random left and right turns as soon as you know they saw you? Anyone?

Anywho, none of this surprises me. This is the county that once tried to charge a cousin of mine with DWI while he was sitting at his kitchen table. A little over a decade ago, before everyone had cell phones, he hit a deer on his way home from work one night. He goes home and calls the Sheriff's office to report the accident, then heads to the fridge and grabs a beer. The deputy shows up at this house to do the accident report a couple beers later and asks my cousin if he'd been drinking before he drove home. My cousin says , "No, but I had a couple while I was waiting for you." The deputy insists that he must have been drinking and driving, and charges him with DWI.

Welcome to Genesee County.

Gabor Deutsch
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The sad part of all this is, even with the announcement and technology, they will still catch people breaking the law.
:(

Howard B. Owens
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Doug, lawmakers didn't wave a wand and make them legal. The courts did that and it was based on a legal challenge to checkpoints created in Genesee County by former Sheriff Doug Call (also one of the founders of Genesee Justice).

Doug Yeomans
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Howard, I'm sure you know I wasn't being literal. I know there were challenges to the checkpoints and even though they were passed into law, I still do not believe it's right or just. It falls into the category of holding everyone responsible for the actions of a lesser number of people.

Courts, law makers, all the same to me. Checkpoints have been challenged all over the country and no matter how it's explained to me, I'll never agree to their constitutionality. I don't have to answer a knock at my door and I think that the same right to privacy should carry to my automobile. If I've done something wrong, the rules change, of course.

Search and seizure needs probable cause and/or plain sight. Cops can't simply search your vehicle without one of the two and as far as I'm concerned, forcing me to stop at a checkpoint is unconstitutional. I realize that the courts disagree.

I also have the right to go around a road block by another route of travel if I know where it is. Are the police saying that if I see a roadblock in the distance, I can't make a turn onto another road or street and I can't turn around? Can anyone cite the law that says I MUST go through the roadblock or that I can't change my mind and take a different route? Sounds like a very dark shade of gray area to me.

Greg Siedlecki
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Drive the speed limit, don't Drink & Drive, stop using your electronics while driving and don't avoid checkpoints! Obey the laws and you won't have a problem. I have No problem at all with checkpoints!

Kyle Couchman
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This experiment is a ridiculous stretch of the checkpoint system though, I mean someone who turns around in a driveway is one thing. But from what I have read they will be checking people that turn an intersection up or down from a checkpoint. If they set up by Bob Evans like they normally do are they gonna nail every car that goes onto the thruway or over towards the clarion from the north on 98? I imagine not they will probably set up secondary checkpoints. Imagine the traffic snarls that will occur. With the price of gas nowadays the Sherriff's dept is gonna engender alot of ill will over these delays and such. Like I said earlier I see this "experiment" flopping big time.

Peter O'Brien
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I may drive around and find the checkpoint just to turn in front of it. Doug is right, this is police state bull crap.

Hey cops, I drive a Red Kia Soul, be sure to find me.

Trina O'Connor
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What a great idea... too many people drink & drive. If some people get caught on Saturday... I'll know myself & my loved ones are that much safer. Why would I mind having to pass this checkpoint? I have nothing to hide. I understand how it can be viewed as an invasion of privacy... however I don't understand why it's worth getting upset over... especially if it's going to make the roads safer for everyone. The sad part is so many people don't learn from their mistakes & DWI will happen with or without these checkpoints.

Kyle Couchman
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Trina its not just a checkpoint, its an enhanced checkpoint. Which means they will have extra cars available to chase down anyone whom turns away from the checkpoint. For instance if you are coming from the north and cross the thruway heading towards Bob Evans.....you see the line of cars, and instead you turn towards Walmart rather than going straight. They will chase you down and give you a once over. Thats the part that most of us are upset about. Its overstepping the bounds of reasonability.

Gary Spencer
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I'm 100% for the police doing whatever it takes to get drunk drivers off the road. Now if the courts would punish the drunk drivers to the fullest that they can it would make it all the more worth it!
As a side note, we could all get together and purposely "avoid" the check points as a matter of protest, that might be a fun way to spend a Saturday evening, can we get tickets if everything is legal with us and our vehicles?
Doug, whatcha doing this weekend??

Debbie Paine
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Do we really believe this "enhanced roadblock" grant is about public safety? This PPP (Pension Padding Program) granted at 22,000 dollars will in actuality cost hundreds of thousands in increased pension costs for the lucky sheriff's department employees nearing retirement, who will be gifted the lottery of formulaic pension calculations as they hunt down all the hardened criminals that try to avoid their time wasting roadblocks.

Trina O'Connor
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I doubt anybody is going to chase you down unless you look suspicious. There are people who are definitely avoiding a check point... & those ppl will be the ones chased after. Not those turning a different direction. Perhaps there will be a check point in both directions or all directions of an intersection?

Ed Glow
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A little attention to details here might save you rebel rousing cruisers some time & money hunting down the checkpoint... "the Sheriff's Office will operate the checkpoint and Batavia PD, Le Roy PD and State Police will provide additional patrols". I'd have to think if the Batavia and LeRoy PD's are both providing additional patrols it would likely be in the Stafford area.

Now that you've saved some gas hunting it down take a ride out to the Reservation first. Fill up the tank with non-ethanol gas and buy two cartons of cigarettes to leave in plain sight when they finally chase you down... but make sure you discard at least one of them so you're still legal with 399 untaxed cigarettes.

Gary hit the nail on the head... the DWI ticket was useless after the lawyer gets it reduced and the judge slaps their hands.

Mike Weaver
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We need a lobby group for the 4th amendment like the ones we have for the 2nd amendment. Too many people willing to waive their rights to probable cause in order to be protected by the nanny state.

Paul Witkowski
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Doug: If you proffer opposing views to Howard or Gary.....beware you may be berated...it is unfortunate that this website was created for one-sided views and not for "some " to opine our views..and beware you may have your view deleted for a personal attack of some. Good Luck Doug...as there are other less biased forums.

Phil Ricci
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Where was Doug berated? Lots of people disagree with each other on here, it's called a discussion. Although, sometimes it's a straight up debate. :-) I think Howard is a pretty fair moderator.

Gary Spencer
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still waiting for Paul to explain his last post (on another story):

"If you question my conclusions..please inquire of the questionable relationship of noonan and zickl"

didn't make much sense.....

Paul Witkowski
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WOW!!! good to have friends Howard and Gary for your platform...and Gary if you must know,,,look into the family relationship with noonan and zickl.

Jason Murray
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I deff plan on turning b4 the checkpoint at least 5 times. Who's with me?

Gary Spencer
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Paul,
I was simply asking for an explanation as to what your post refered to, now you have explained it! Thank you sir!
I was unaware of a "family relationship" (I bet they have a blast at family reunions!)
As far as a platform, there is none, I have had many a comment deleted because I "broke the rules" I can be an ass sometimes myself!

Doug Yeomans
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You know, people DIED fighting for the rights we have and for the freedoms we're supposed to have. So many people are willing to allow YOUR rights to be bent and twisted.

I hate it when people say shit like "I have nothing to hide so they can pull me over any time they want to." They have no idea what they're saying and the implications it carries. If you allow your rights to be violated without protest, you're giving authority the green light to do it whenever and wherever they want to.

COP: "Mind if I search your car?" most people say "go right ahead." The problem is, if the cops had a right to search, they wouldn't ASK. They know full well that people are easily intimidated and will say yes even though they have the right to say no..and you SHOULD say no. It's not a matter of having something to hide. It's a matter of constitutional rights and you should stand up for them.

Be careful what you're willing to give up because it can easily be taken away for good.

Phil Ricci
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WOW!!! good to have friends Howard and Gary for your platform..

I really hope you weren't referring to my question with that little remark?

Frank Bartholomew
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Count me in, and when someone finds out where the invasion of privacy is set up, post it on the web.

Doug Yeomans
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Trina, there's the problem. What is it that constitutes looking suspicious? The answer is, anyone that legally avoids the checkpoint by turning around or by taking an alternate route is "suspect."

They will pull you over for simply avoiding the checkpoint even though avoiding it is perfectly legal to do. You haven't done anything illegal or wrong but they will still stop you. A traffic stop requires an infraction to be witnessed. K turns are legal, taking left or right turns are legal and taking detours are legal. So, what gives them the "enhanced" right to pull anyone over?

Gary Spencer
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Come on Phil, we gotta stick together man! :)

Doug Yeomans
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Paul, I have no problems with Gary or with Howard. People have differing opinions and Howard allows everyone here to have their say. I'm not ass kissing..it's Howard's site and he actually does a good job of keeping things in check.

I've never had a run-in with Gary and when Howard and I have our agreements or disagreements, we talk about it and get through it.

Kyle Couchman
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Doug, Phil you might as well forget reasoning with Paul. He obviously has blinders on and isnt to rational, otherwise he would realize that this Website is first and foremost a news site. A pretty damn good one as well as I have seen stories here days before the "other" website covers them. He seems to think the rules are only applied him as well. We all have had posts deleted because we are human and make errors, we have feelings and passions and express them.

What I think is he is just a little hurt as Howards comment bout deleteing his post but couldnt because it didnt make sense was funny and on point LOL So far I dont see anything of his deleted yet so his paranoia has over reached reality.

Back on topic though.... My vehicle is in the shop this weekend so I'm very disappointed in missing this impromtu Batavian St Patty's Day Parade that is shaping up to happen wherever the Sherriff sets up the "enhanced" checkpoint. If someone wants to do it twice, pick me up and I can video the whole thing. Could be the start of a new St Patrick's Day tradition here locally.

C. M. Barons
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Don't want to sound like a killjoy... I hear the rumblings of charges of conspiracy and/or interference with government administration:

S 195.05 Obstructing governmental administration in the second degree.

A person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration when he
intentionally obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law
or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a
public servant from performing an official function, by means of
intimidation, physical force or interference, or by means of any
independently unlawful act, or by means of interfering, whether or not
physical force is involved, with radio, telephone, television or other
telecommunications systems owned or operated by the state, or a county,
city, town, village, fire district or emergency medical service or by
means of releasing a dangerous animal under circumstances evincing the
actor`s intent that the animal obstruct governmental administration.

Obstructing governmental administration is a class A misdemeanor.

Frank Bartholomew
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CM, how could driving on public roads be considered a crime, regardless of the drivers intent? It is the police who are obstructing by chasing down anyone who don't want to be hasseled at a road block.
I thought it was my right to check out the roadblock and see firsthand how our tax dollars are spent.
If anything, the police should be charged with harrassment for pulling someone over for simply avoiding a roadblock.

Trina O'Connor
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Doug, I understand where you're coming from. I'm okay with this because I hate the thought of drunk drivers getting away with it. I onced saw a man driving a car off the thru way in Batavia who had to continuously open his door & vomit all the way to the end of the intersection. He was swurving & it was a holiday... I can only assume he was intoxicated. I wanted nothing more than to see him get busted. I don't mind this enhanced checkpoint at all... regardless of the rights I'm "giving up." It's worth it to me.

Doug Yeomans
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I'm sorry to hear that you're willing to give up any rights. Law enforcement can be accomplished without rights violations. Police can accomplish their goals without bothering innocent, law abiding citizens. Saturate the area with more patrols if necessary and pull people over for actual infractions. Stopping people who are simply living their life because they "MIGHT" be doing something wrong is a privacy issue I can't overlook.

You and I pay taxes, license fees, registration fees, tire taxes and fuel taxes that pay for the roads that you and I drive on. You and I have a right to use them lawfully. The police are there to catch people breaking the law, not to babysit people who are minding their own business.

John Roach
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People seem willing to give up rights that do not really affect them. The recent banning smoking in city parks, even away from any kids; banning having a beer in a city park (without having to pay a fee); banning Happy Meals in one California city; attempts to ban fast food, salt or sugar in foods you like. And now, Obama has released new rules telling farm families when and how their children can work on the family farm.

You give up somebody else's rights, don't cry when they take yours.

Howard B. Owens
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"You give up somebody else's rights, don't cry when they take yours."

Ditto.

Mike Weaver
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Trina, that is nice that you are willing to give up your rights for a sense of security. The problem is you are also willing to give up my rights for it. And I don't really appreciate that.

Doug Yeomans
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John, best quote of the day: "You give up somebody else's rights, don't cry when they take yours."

Nathan Oaksford
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If they are pooling together all these extra people to fight DWI why don't they just send them all over looking for drunk people driving instead of roadblocks that can be avoided and not waste everyones time. I have seen so many traffic violations in Batavia over the years and everytime i think..." Man where are the cops now?" If i did anything like that I would have gotten a ticket for sure.

The manpower could be better spent in other ways to reduce DWI than a roadblock. I always get nervous at those things even if everything is fine.

Kyle Couchman
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Well Trina, my problem is if you witnessed such an event of someone opening their door to vomit like that, and you feel strongly about dwi, did you take down the Lisc Plate and call the police? If you didn't then why, your willing to volunteer or surrender rights to not be inconvenienced by road checkpoints for the sake of dwi, but it was not convenient for you to report soemthing like what you witnessed? If you did report it then I apologize, but if you didnt then your concern for dwi seems a bit ambiguous. Don't you think?

Please dont use the excuse that you cant use cell phones while driving though. Something such as reporting a dangerous driver is considered an exception. Even if you were given a ticket it will be dismissed if your on the phone with a police, fire or medical emergency services is such cases and dismissed. (I speak from personal exp on this)

Trina O'Connor
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It's not a big deal. I'm sorry you're so caught up in this fight for your rights. It's ONE day. I doubt you will get pulled over... why don't you test this theory. Please, find the checkpoint & make a turn in the opposite direction. If they truly come after you & demand to search your car... then fine...Perhaps I'll see your side a little clearer... but I highly doubt that is going to happen. The purpose of this is to make the roads safer. I read somebodys comment about it being about the police departments personal gain or something of the nature... if that is also true, so be it... I don't care. All I care is the people who are putting myself & my loved ones at risk are taken off the road. This is so not a big deal. Again... its going to be the "suspicious" ppl who get pulled over. These will be the people who are driving along & all of a sudden do a mad dash into a drive way & bolt the other direction. Police on a daily basis pull ppl over for nothing more than an inkling you might be doing something illegal. Not everybody gets pulled over bc they are doing something obviously wrong. I don't disagree with the fact more patrol cars should be out looking for drunk drivers or those who are doing illegal things behind the wheel. I just also don't see anything wrong with doing something this way. Maybe if everyday I was being pulled over or having to stop at a checkpoint I would be more concerned... but not for ONE day.

Trina O'Connor
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Kyle, Thanks for assuming I did not report it. Anyway, we aren't getting anywhere debating this topic. Check points have been around for a long time. It's a fact of life. Let's all stop crying about this & move on. It's going to happen regardless of your opinion or mine.

Kyle Couchman
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Thats where you are wrong Trina.....yes it is gonna happen the 17th however it is still experimental. If it becomes an epic fail or there is too much public outcry then it wont be put into practice statewide. So at this stage our opinions do matter as do our actions. If it fails then it goes back to the normal checkpoints a win win situation.

For just ONE day the patrols arent gonna be out looking for dwi's instead they will be supporting the checkpoint pulling over people trying to avoid the checkpoint, once you give up a right to the state its gone for good. It takes 10x the effort to get the state to give up that power it gains.

Frank Bartholomew
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Welcome to pet peeve law-101! violating the rights of millions, to appease few, because of the actions of fewer.

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