Independence Day DUI Checkpoint Video Sparks Controversy Over Fourth Amendment

I’ll tell you straight up that I have a high respect for those who serve in law enforcement. I do so understanding that they are in their positions under the authority of God. With that in mind, that does not give any law enforcement officer the authority to break the law “in order to enforce the law.” A recent Independence Day DUI checkpoint video has gone viral and sparked more controversy over the legality, specifically when it comes to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) checkpoints, or in Barney Fife lingo “checkpoint chickies.” The video below shows driver Chris Kalbaugh arriving at a checkpoint with a camera on and filming. He is asked to roll the window down, Chris does, but only part way. The officer becomes visibly agitated when Kalbaugh refuses to roll it down all the way.  The officer asks Chris to pull the vehicle to the side.

Kalbaugh refuses to allow a vehicle search.  Officers remove him from the vehicle and have a drug dog scan the car. The camera captures what allegedly is later deemed false alert by the dog at the command of the handler.  As a result the vehicle is searched.

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In the end, Kalbaugh was not charged with a crime, as nothing illegal was found.  

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According to Kalbaugh, who posted the video online on July 4, 2013:

The purpose of this video is to show that having certain rights counts to many police officers as being suspicious nowadays. This video was not meant to go after anybody’s job or to sue anyone. In the end, I was let go with no charges. The officer later on tried to lie and say that I had “pot residue” in my car yet no evidence was obtained/tested to prove it. This video is not saying that all cops are bad or that all cops want to use their power to take away Constitutional rights from citizens. Cops are also not “pigs.” I very much respect law enforcement. All that I want is for citizens to have respect from police.

Here are the numbers from the checkpoint that night:

  • 250 vehicles passed through the checkpoint
  • 20 vehicles were detained that required further investigation
  • Three vehicles were searched
  • One misdemeanor arrest was made
  • 32 citations were issued: Two child restraint device citations, one DUI, 10 citations for violations of the registration law, four citations for violation of the light law, one revoked/suspended driver’s license, six financial responsibility (no insurance), six other driver’s license law violations, and two safety belt law violations.

Only one DUI arrest was made. One out of 250. That’s less than one percent.

It seems to me that these police checkpoints are nothing more than just fund raisers for themselves.

At a DUI stop, the police are only supposed to stop people for a short period of time to see if they are driving impaired. They are NOT supposed to be issuing citations to people.

Another reason why I disagree with checkpoints: In America, you are innocent until proven guilty. At checkpoints, that is pretty much reversed. In the future, I recommend that all motorists record their encounters with law enforcement.

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