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Discussion in 'Politics' started by poncho, Dec 26, 2005.
Are police checkpoints (seatbelts, DWI etc.) constitutional? Legal?
Are you worried about this for a reason?
Yes they are as long as they meet certain criteria.
Here is some interesting analysis:
I can see some value in them, and legality, in the area of keeping drunk drivers off the roads. I would not commend them in the case of seat belt use as I don't think that the State has any business dictating the use of seatbelts. That should be an issue for insurance companies to handle.
Are you thinking about car or health insurance? It would seem to me that if one doesn't have health insurance, the hospital isn't going to stand there and let you die if you hit the windshield. Someone is gonna have to pay that bill. Don't you think?
Ok. That is great. Now, to the Health insurance issue: Are you going to allow someone who didn't wear their seatbelt to bleed to death if they don't have insurance, or should the taxpayers pay for their life sustaining health care. If the latter is true, then the government has every right to regulate their activities in the car to minimize their own risks.
So do you have random breath testing stations in the U.S?
We have a number of them here, if you are caught driving over .05 it is a fine, if it is over .08 you get your license suspended for 12 months as well as a fine.
Since some accidents are related to the driver being drowsy, do you think that the government should have the power to regulate how much sleep one must get before being allowed to drive?
Since some accidents are related to the drive being distracted by children in the vehicle, do you think that the government should have the power to ban children from being in vehicles that are being driven?
Since a lot of health care costs are related to obesity, do you think that the government should have the power to regulate how much and what we eat?
Etc., etc., etc.
Do you think the government should be obligated to use tax dollars to save that person's life, but have no say over making his commute safer? As to sleep, that is already regulated I know for truck drivers, and I think would be for regular drivers as well. It is called reckless driving or driving while impaired. I am curious if you also think people should be allowed to drive drunk as well. In both your examples of driving drunk and while tired, they are endangering more than just their own lives. Further, not wearing a seatbelt endangers others in the car as well since you become a moving projectile upon impact. Do you not think the government should have any say over what is reasonable for health and safety if they are to pay for life saving medical care? If you don't, then I would argue that the government should allow those who engage in risky behaviors to die when they have a wreck. Are you really ready to go that far?
The Bill of Rights refers to the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, the fourth of which states that:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Thus the Constitution protects people from being stopped without a search warrant or at least “probable cause” that they have committed a crime.
The Michigan Supreme Court found sobriety checkpoints to be a violation of the Fourth Amendment. However, in a split decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Michigan court. Although acknowledging that such roadblocks violate a fundamental constitutional right, Chief Justice Rehnquist argued that they are necessary in order to reduce drunk driving. That is, he argued that the end justifies the means. Attorney and law professor Lawrence Taylor refers to this as “the DUI exception to the Constitution.” 1
Dissenting justices emphasized that the Constitution doesn’t provide exceptions. "That stopping every car might make it easier to prevent drunken driving ... is an insufficient justification for abandoning the requirement of individualized suspicion," dissenting Justice Brennan insisted. 2
Chief Justice Rehnquist had argued that violating individual constitutional rights was justified because sobriety roadblocks were effective and necessary. But dissenting Justice Stevens pointed out that "the findings of the trial court, based on an extensive record and affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, indicate that the net effect of sobriety checkpoints on traffic safety is infinitesimal and possibly negative." 3 And even if roadblocks were effective, the fact that they work wouldn’t justify violating individuals’ constitutional rights, justices argued.
While the U.S. Supreme Court has made the DUI exemption to the Constitution, eleven states have found that sobriety checkpoints violate their own state constitutions or have outlawed them. In these states, individuals have more protections against unreasonable search and police sobriety roadblocks are prohibited.
SEC. 802. DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM.
(a) DOMESTIC TERRORISM DEFINED- Section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in paragraph (1)(B)(iii), by striking `by assassination or kidnapping' and inserting `by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping';
(2) in paragraph (3), by striking `and';
(3) in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and'; and
(4) by adding at the end the following:
`(5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--
`(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
`(B) appear to be intended--
`(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
`(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
`(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
`(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 3077(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
`(1) `act of terrorism' means an act of domestic or international terrorism as defined in section 2331;'.
Reckless driving and driving impaired are terrorist acts?
What about obesity, Joseph? Look at the billions and billions of dollars that obesity costs us every year as taxpayers and as health insurance payers.
I realize that I subscribe way more to the axiom of "That government governs best that governs least" than you do because I adhere much more to the libertarianism of our Founding Fathers than you do.
Should the state let these people die when they have a wreck, or should they pay for their life sustaining health care? One way or the other. You cannot have it both ways. Which do you choose? If you are going to take the government's money, then you are going to live with the government's rules.
Let them die or pay to save their lives? Which one do you choose? You cannot have it both ways. If you are going to take the government's money, then you are going to take the government's strings that are attached.
In the first place, Joseph, there should not be any federal government money involved if we are going to follow the U.S. constitution.
Let them die then?
Private charity, Joseph, private charity. The government is not the only method to handle problems. I think it was Ronald Reagan who stated that government is the problem.
Not enough time for private charity, Ken. He is gonna die in the next 10 minutes unless emergency life saving medical care is administered. Let him die or use tax money to administer life saving medical care?
You do not think that charities already exist to cover emergencies? Especially if the federal government kept its nose out of where it does not belong?
I thought you approved of Ronald Reagan's political philosophy?
10 minutes or he is gonna die. Every second counts. Don't have time to call and discuss in committee. Live or die? Stop playing games and make your choice.
Did Reagan do away with emergency care for the indigant at taxpayer expense? I am pretty sure he did not.