According to Bruce Carton of Law.com’s Legal Blog Watch (linked above), both Utah and New Hampshire are considering eliminating DUI roadblocks. He says:
The latest skirmish involving DUI checkpoints comes from at least two states that are now reconsidering the legality and effectiveness of DUI checkpoints in the first place. In Utah, a bill will soon be considered by the state House of Representatives that would completely ban police from setting up DUI checkpoints, FOX 13 reports. Utah state Rep. David Butterfield, a sponsor of the bill, believes that DUI checkpoints violate citizens’ rights against unreasonable searches. “The Utah Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court have both held that they are constitutional under very narrow guidelines, but that’s problematic,” he said.
Similarly, WestIslip Patch reports, New Hampshire lawmakers are also considering a proposal to prohibit state police from setting up DUI checkpoints, again citing possible violations of citizen’s civil rights. According to the Patch, New Hampshire lawmakers are concerned with citizens’ “due process rights when they are arrested for other violations or their vehicles are searched.”
Does this have any resonance here in Illinois? Not as far as I can tell.
Here in Illinois, lawmakers are not concerned about observing Constitutional niceties if there is the possibility that drunk drivers might be out and about on our roads.
If anything, local prosecutors and police in Illinois are moving in the complete opposite direction of Utah and New Hampshire — not only more checkpoints, but involuntary blood draws should you refuse a breath test.
What about your right against self-incrimination and unreasonable searches? What about your right to maintain your bodily integrity? What about your right to dignity and privacy? Well, what about them.
The fact is, those rights may be important, but it doesn’t get the electorate riled up. Deaths caused by drunk drivers do.
So, in Illinois, we have the so-called “no-refusal” weekends, when a jurisdiction will arrange to have a State’s Attorney and a Judge at the ready in case someone refuses to provide a breath sample. We have also had a court decision that allows police officers to use a certain amount of physical force to restrain you while they are drawing blood from you against your will.
If you have a problem with this, well, then it is time to exercise one of the remaining rights that you still have — the right to vote.