Open Thread

July 9, 2013
By

I’m in Iowa visiting my Mom, who just celebrated her 91st birthday. She’s a regular weekly reader of the Rant and also enjoys reading the comments of those on the couch.

bullet image ‘Seatbelt Checkpoints’ to Search Cars Without Warrants, Make Drug Arrests

The Beckley, West Virginia Police Department set up a “seatbelt checkpoint,” which resulted in several drug arrests on July 2.

The Beckley police claimed they did the checkpoint to inform residents and raise awareness of a new seatbelt law that goes into effect on July 9.

However, police brought K-9 drug-sniffing dogs to the checkpoints, which were not needed for seatbelt education.

Another example of law enforcement personnel purposely mocking and bypassing the law for their own benefit.

bullet image Related, but perhaps more hopeful…

Blood, spit and cops: Nationwide drug roadblocks raise eyebrows

It’s not just in Alabama. The roadblocks are part of a national study led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is trying to determine how many drivers are on the road with drugs or alcohol in their systems. Similar roadblocks will be erected in dozens of communities across the nation this year, according to the agency.

It’s been going on for decades. Previous surveys date to the 1970s. The last one was run in 2007, and it included the collection of blood and saliva samples without apparent controversy, sheriff’s spokesmen in both Alabama counties said.

But this time, it’s happening as the Obama administration struggles to explain revelations that U.S. spy organizations have been tracking phone and Internet traffic. Against that backdrop, the NHTSA-backed roadblocks have led to complaints in Alabama about an intrusive federal government.

Nice. Perhaps the country is actually getting ready to have a real conversation about these issues.

After all, as we’ve said here often, there are direct connections between government overreach in the so-called war on terror, and the war on drugs.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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