Police Break Car Window at DUI Checkpoint

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”  George Washington

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.”  William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783

Now, I would like to tell you a story. A story about courage. A story about these folks we call the Founding Fathers. You see they were an unusual bunch. largely they had little to complain about. They were in the ruling elite. They were propertied. They had a lot of material possessions. They had a lot to lose. However, they decided to stand up for what was right and against all that was wrong. They stood up to say no. No to tyranny. No to the horrible and abusive practice of bills of attainder. No to generalized search warrants with no needed particularity to justify the seizure and/or the search. No to unfettered and unchecked power of the government. In those days, they definitely lived in a time where the government allowed you to do something or otherwise it was prohibited.

The end result of their powerful exercise in that magic word of “no” was that we developed a magical and great government in theory that this concept of liberty and freedom are about the relationship of the individual to the State where the individual has the freedom from the government and the government’s power is limited.

Now, I would like to tell you another story some 200 years removed from this one: a more modern one. The place isn’t in one of the original 13 states, but on the other coast in a modern town– a sort of Anytown, USA: Escondido, California. But rather than tell you, I would like to show you this story. Please watch it.

One of the dangers of DUI checkpoints is that is puts innocent citizens like these two people in a place where the government’s power is unlimited and unchecked. these police would not take “no” and were improperly trained on the legal limits of their power. This arrest is clearly unconstitutional. The breaking of the window is immoral. The driver’s and passenger’s only saving grace is the video. Look at this video. It is outrageous. Some police officers verbally abuse and intimidate innocent drivers and treat them like criminals.

If you have driven through  PA DUI checkpoints, you probably know exactly how this feels.  Aside from being humiliating and often times set up in an illegal manner (and I would argue the exact opposite of the Founding Fathers intent), sometimes these officers get out of control and the situation becomes ugly.  This is especially troubling when the driver’s only “crime” is trying to assert their constitutional rights to be left alone after the brief detention that is currently allowed by the law. These violations of our civil and constitutional rights are happening at an alarming rate, all over the country and in the name of DUI enforcement.

Welcome to Escondido, California where police officers will break your window if you don’t fall for their bullying tactics.

You can read the full coverage of the story at ESCONDIDO: Video shows police breaking car’s window at DUI checkpoint .

Over aggressive police, who don’t know the law and intimidate innocent people are a threat to society. With cops like this protecting us from criminals, who’s protecting us from the cops?

It is sad that the words of our great patriotic leader, Founding Father and President of the United States  John Adams rings true:

When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

2 responses to “Police Break Car Window at DUI Checkpoint”

  • Dear Sir: Agree completely. Having been stopped recently at one of these checkpoints I asked the officer what was the authority for them, to which he replied that SCOTUS had said they were constitutional. I did not ask about constitutionality, I asked what was the authority. When liberty is abridged it should be the people through their elected representatives who say it should be done, for if we assume that it is inherent to a broader description of what constitutes proper police powers then we are not just a step away from living in a “police state,” we are a police state.

  • Mr. Brady,
    A lot of folks feel like you. It is most interesting to note that the same high Court (the Supreme Court of the United States) who said that it is okay to stop a car on its lawful way for no reason under the guise of a sobriety or vehicle equipment checkpoint found it to be unconstitutional for “general crime prevention” (drug interdiction) in the case of City of Indianapolis v. Edmond. Go figure. There is a DUI exception to the Constitution it seems. What is more several state supreme courts have held that any form of roadblock for any reason is unconstitutional per their own state constitution. Not here in PA.

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