No refusals at DUI checkpoint

No refusals at DUI checkpoint

PESOTUM – The Champaign County prosecutors and judge standing by Friday night and Saturday morning to respond to suspected drunk drivers got a pass.

There were only two arrests for driving under the influence as a result of a "no-refusal" safety check in north Urbana between 11 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Saturday and both those drivers consented to chemical tests.

That left the assistant state's attorneys who were standing by to get search warrants and the judge prepared to hear the facts to issue them with nothing to do.

A first of its kind in Champaign County, the purpose of the "no-refusal" check was to force suspected drunken drivers who might balk at chemical testing to undergo it by getting a search warrant to force them to give blood or urine samples. Refusal to comply would have resulted in a felony obstructing justice charge.

The road block was set up at the intersection of U.S. 45 and Airport Road on Urbana's north side.

Although Illinois State Police and State's Attorney Julia Rietz had publicized the no-refusal road block before it happened, they did not say in advance where it would be.

A release from state police said besides the DUI arrests, there were also two arrests for possession of drug paraphernalia, one for possession of cannabis, and a person taken in on an outstanding warrant.

Police also issued at least 16 warnings and 24 other citations for such things as driver's license, seat belt and registration violations.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on March 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm
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The Supreme Court ruled it's okay to have sobriety checkpoints [Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz (1990)] but I missed the case that allows The State to stop/ID/arrest people on any variety of charges, absent reasonable suspicion.

Maybe someone can point me to that case. It's been a while since my Criminal Procedure class.

If the checkpoint simply breathalyzed people, without sniffing them, sticking its hands in their pants, and poking around in their luggage; I'm sure it would pass constitutional muster.

AerieDweller wrote on March 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

The checkpoints DON'T allow arresting people on a variety of charges, absent reasonable suspicion. The State IS allowed to temporarliy detain drivers for the purpose of verifying that drivers of motor vehicles are llicensed and that the vehicles are inisured. That is the basis of the checkpoints.

If, however, a police officer develops reasonable suspicion to suspect the driver is impaired while performing those simple duties (getting the DL and insurance out), then the officer has the right to detain the driver further to investigate the possibility of impairment.

(If the officer saw evidence of other crimes in plain view, then s/he could also detain to driver further to investigate that crime [for instance, if drugs or weapons are in plain view inside the car].).

If the driver's performance of field sobriety tasks shows impairnent, the driver may be arrested.

If the driver is arrested, only then are the police able to ask for an evidenciary breath test and/or other chemical tests. That's different from the quick roadside breath test some people take. The evidenciary one is usually performed at the jail and the instrument is certified regularly by the State. Quick roadside breath tests don't usually count as evidence, but they can be used to show a driver isn't impaired by alcohol.

militantlibertarian wrote on March 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm

oh boy 6 hardcore criminals were taken off the streets, what a joke and waste of taxpayer money, plus the 24 other citations yay i hope the city is outta debt now.....

jdmac44 wrote on March 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm

"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."

sbi wrote on March 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Why don't we call it what it is- Gestapo stop. Stop and search ala Nazi Germany in the '40s. When did these United States come under Marshall law?

killerut wrote on March 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Cops are corrupt. That's all there is to it. You give anyone that much power, and they are gonna flex their muscles and abuse their power whenever they get the chance.

I don't trust any of them.

jmw wrote on March 13, 2011 at 12:03 am

An innocent person has nothing to hide, if it takes a safety stop to prevent some drunken idiot from slamming head-on into me, my family or anyone else on the road, proceed. Comparing local police to Nazi Germany is a little off base. I think they do a fine job. (Oh yeah and I am not a cop)
I have personally seen, as a responder to all kinds of accidents, what a safety stop could have prevented. So blast away at how your rights are being taken away. It is your right to drink, but not drive down a public road after doing so. People that think otherwise are not only dangerous but complete morons!

militantlibertarian wrote on March 13, 2011 at 1:03 am

prob is that the netted only 2 ppl that were drunk, way they made it sound in article that its an epidemic, apparently it is not. I feel its a complete waste of taxpayer money plus a front the citzens rights if the police,judges and prosecutors are spending 6 or 7 hours trying to bust drunks and they catch two whole people. I used this example before take every person on the road that drives everyday, impaired or not impaired against the number of actual incidents that happen everyday and youll see its a very minuscule %, the cops are fund raising on the false pretenses of public safety.

AerieDweller wrote on March 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

By your logic then, the NTSA shouldn't conduct inspections of aircraft used for commercial travel, either. The percentage of airline travelers killed in airline crashes is even more miniscule than the percentage of DUI-related crashes and fatalities. Everyone knows flying is the safest way to go... why bother with inspections?

By my logic, however, the DUI crashes and fatalities can easily be prevented simply by not driving after drinking. If a person can't make that decison properly, then roadside safety checkpoints are a fine way to help keep the streets safer.

The Mayflower Band wrote on March 13, 2011 at 4:03 am

Man with rights like these, being a cop is THE profession if you're a criminal. How's about I just randomly announce Citizen Review Board Pat Downs/searches on Police., okay? We'll citizens arrest our tax payed employees know as police, who "serve" endless citations on the most debt ridden state in the Union and "protect," not even their own, just the concepts of paranoia and fear. If I read one more comment like "if you done nuthin' wrong, you ain't got nuthin' ta worry 'bout..." Yeah what about civil liberties? What about one man having the right to say to another man, "You are guilty until proven innocent (we stop you, search you), you have no choice (warrants standing by), the government said so (Rietz/ISP) and I'm payed with your money (your diminishing savings)."

Whoever does not agree with me is useless to this town, and humanity in general. You can bicker back b/c we all have free speech (ha!), but you are truly worthless. This has been happening more and more in this country and now its reached here, C-U. Truth is, this was probably a test to see if we'll deal with it. Who is gonna agree with me here? Or will this continue because they've taken all our tax money and have uniforms. Oh and sorry to the good cops, you know who you are...

julianhooligan wrote on March 13, 2011 at 4:03 am

2 arrests? 2! All of this wasted effort and money to come up with two arrests. What kind of sick, effed up people do we have running this county. Stop this right wing insanty now. If you really wanted to stop drunks from driving you would get them as they come from the downtown bars...what's that you say...it would hurt the businesses of the their right wing business owner cohorts? What a bunch of hypocrisy. Stop these nazi's now!

freechampaign wrote on March 13, 2011 at 7:03 am

Lets just sit back and wait for the headlines to read that some drunk killed someone or some family while driving. then these same people on this post will be blasting the cops and the S/A office for not doing their jobs and catching these drunks before he/she had a chance to drink and drive.

militantlibertarian wrote on March 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

What happens when theres just an accident were a non impaired driver kills a family or someone driving? It happens more frequently than Drunk Driving Incidents of that nature, who do you blame, the car company?,the radio that was playing? what scapegoat will you and others find to help yourselves justify why this happened. Do you just want to ban driving of any vehicles all together? That would make this world safer and eliminate the threat to others. We just have to face the reality that bad things happen, no amount of safety checks, rules or regulations will prevent it. Lets call roadside safety checkpoints what they really are, money making schemes and the governments way of prying in to our lives.

freechampaign wrote on March 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm

well with your way of thinking we should take no steps what so ever to prevent any type of harm or wrong doing in our lives because things are just going to happen. does not sound to smart to me. Must mean that when you are a victim of a crime you wont call the police because, hey things just happen and nothing the police or anyone else can do about it. Oh and besides drunk driving accidents or not accidents they are called CRASHES because they can be prevented. But hey whatever you have to tell yourself so you don't feel bad about driving while intoxicated after all it's your life. Wait it could actually be the other person's life.

militantlibertarian wrote on March 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Your telling me the taxpayer money spent for this 5 hour checkpoint that resulted little to no results was worth it? Victims are only victims if they choose to be victims. Hell majority time you call police they dont do anything anyway, they fill out some paperwork ask a few questions thats bout all you ever get outta them. Your analogy on crashes and accidents doesnt make any kind sense crashes are accidents,defining them anyway ya want but an accident is an accident..only way it isnt is if the person actually causes the crash cause they want to cause, im sure even intoxicated ppl arent getting into their cars saying, im gonna go crash into first ppl i see tonite.

freechampaign wrote on March 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Wrong, states have changed the wording on accident reports to CRASH reports because "accident" means that there was no one at fault. Crashes are just that, crashes. someone is at fault and that person is cited for their actions. Blowing a stop light or turning in front of someone and causing a crash for example is not an accident is a wrong doing by a person.

we are getting off topic here anyway. We should stick to the idiots driving drunk.

militantlibertarian wrote on March 14, 2011 at 4:03 am

I looked up some info in this, the use of this wording seem to be lawyer speak not anything with the actual government. The lawyers use the word"crash" or "wreck" to try to sway the jury into finding for them, its still just an accident in governments eyes. Whoever receives the ticket is at fault though i had a situation where a "witness" that wasnt a trained officer told the police that i was driving too fast, eventhough i did not get sited, the insurance company of woman who hit me deducted off part of my settlement cause i was deemed partial at fault. It was complete bs but i could not afford a lawyer at time to fight it. I never said i condoned drunk driving but when their checkpoint only yields two arrests for it outta who knows how many stops i feel the police and government can better use our money and resources going after real criminals.

freechampaign wrote on March 14, 2011 at 4:03 am

Try looking at the top of an State of Illinois traffic crash report. It does not say accident report it states CRASH REPORT. it is government wording.

militantlibertarian wrote on March 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Arguing Semantics gets us no where, anyway the state of Illinois is well known for doing things differently than everywhere else anyway, ie Foid cards or even tabs on tests for school kids. It doesnt matter if its called a crash report or an accident report, its the same damn thing and does not justify the governments waste of manpower and tax payer funds to run these roadside "safety" checks. If you want to watch what little civil liberties we have left get pissed away that is fine but the general consensuses i have gathered from these forums and friends/family etc show majority of people do not agree with this. If you truely want a "free" champaign then maybe you should speak out about our government slowly trying to slide this area and our country into a police state.

Hans wrote on March 13, 2011 at 9:03 am

*FLASHING LIGHTS, SIREN* Hold it right there. Spelling Cop here, to issue a warning ticket.

It's spelled "martial law" (military rule), even if you're referring to Marshal (or Marshall) Dillon, Festus, and Barney Fife taking over.

Okay, you're free to go now. And please, write carefully.

http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_mlaw.html

The Mayflower Band wrote on March 14, 2011 at 3:03 am

JulianH....I agree but...you really gotta break outta that left/right BS...its both parties and everything in between...there's those who see the injustice and those who don't. And there's those who talk and those who walk, and the left/right droning is just more talk.

cberg wrote on March 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm

"Rights" I have to laugh at that. If you don't want to be detained by police, you don't have to. It's as simple as don't choose to drive. No one, the government or police, are forcing you to get in a car and drive on public roads.

As far as the warrant goes for submitting to a blood test, I don't see a problem. To receive a warrant they still have to take the proper courses... It's just sped up with a judge in wait. In Nevada by getting a license or even just driving on Nevada's road, you consent to a blood test.

When it cones to productivity, I don't see a problem either. They came across more than "just" 2 DUI arrests. And not to mention it only takes 1 drunk driver to kill someone. If the officer saved a life during that shift, I would say there is no question they are doing their job. Policing now days is not just about being reactive. Being proactive is an emphasis.

doobedoobedoo wrote on March 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm

"Rights" I have to laugh at that. If you don't want to be detained by police, you don't have to. It's as simple as don't choose to walk down the street. No one, the government or police, are forcing you to put on your shoes and walk down the public sidewalk.

"Rights" I have to laugh at that. If you don't want to be detained by police, you don't have to. It's as simple as don't choose to be born. No one, the government or police, are forcing you to survive the birthing process and simply exist.

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The issue with the warrants is that the judicial branch is supposed to act separately from the executive branch. When DAs (executive) and judges (judicial) are hanging around, shooting the breeze, waiting to rubber stamp warrants, the judicial is acting as an agent of the executive. If he is out there explicitly to sign these warrants, why should we trust him to do so fairly? After all, he knows why he is there and why he volunteered to do his work hours there.

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It only takes one sober driver to kill someone. Those officers could have been looking for people weaving in and out of traffic, something that occurs more frequently than drunk drivers and is just as dangerous, but you can't catch that with a check point. A drunk driving check point is the definition of reactive. Just sitting around, waiting until something comes up rather than going out and actually finding the dangerous drivers.

cberg wrote on March 14, 2011 at 9:03 pm

And youre missing the key difference between walking down the street and driving. A permit that requires you to abide by certain responsibilities beyond the average citizen.... And you choose whether or not you want to take on that contract. The police are checking if you are fulfilling your contract so to speak (1 of those pieces of the contract is following the law with blood alcohol content am I right?) If you refuse to show your obligation to the contract, it turns into a criminal investigation (same goes with proof of license, insurance etc), at which point gives probable cause.

As far as the warrants go, a judge signing warrants for this has the same ability or inability to corruption than any other judge lying in wait to see any other warrant.. It's not uncommon for other warrants to take mere minutes.

Consider that of traffic related deaths, 37% are alcohol involved nationwide (2008). Illinois was higher at 40%. That's a huge percentage for a single factor. For comparison, destracted driving accounted for 16% deaths (2009).
What's the best way for 2 people to find eachother when lost in a crowd? One stays put while the other is on the move. Well, the drunk driver won't be staying put. And while on patrol, an officer can only be reactive to a driver. The driver has to make the first move, mess up... and it has to happen in the few seconds the officer is observing. If he doesn't in that small window, off he goes with all the other drivers. And it's not as if they cut out all patrols during a checkpoint. In fact it's a good tool used to find those drunk drivers trying to avoid it. By warning drivers of checkpoints, it shows more presence and crackdown than just the usual patrols. A method of deterrence, a key factor in proactive policing.

doobedoobedoo wrote on March 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Clearly they are winning. They want you to think that getting a drivers license is a license for them to search you whenever the hell they want. You have bought that hook, line, and sinker. It used to be that they had to have a reason beyond "he drove down this street that we have a papers checkpoint on" to stop you and search you (yes, examining your papers is a search). But, because people before me didn't care enough about their rights, there are people like you that think it is acceptable for the forces of government to harass law abiding citizens without cause.

I don't care that they stopped two drunk drivers (because I don't live my life in fear). I don't care that they issued 24 other citations (wait, I thought this was to catch drunk drivers, why were other citations issued? shouldn't they have let the other drivers go once it was clear they were not drunk?). I care about the rights of the countless (unreported) others who were unduly harassed last night. Those that were interrogated about where they were going, where they were coming from, and why they were driving legally down a public road. This is too high a price to pay for two measly arrests.

Bill.D wrote on March 15, 2011 at 7:03 am

I would suggest agreeing pending the arrival of your attorney. If I were going to incriminate myself, I'd want my lawyer present.

Yatiri wrote on March 15, 2011 at 7:03 am

Most people can't see a police state even while living in one.

This country's population is one of the most indoctrinated and controlled by propaganda.

All the talk about Liberty and folks don't even see that they have no Freedom.

Bill.D wrote on March 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

True.