Court: Driver’s License Required at Sobriety Checkpoint

Confirming what any idiot already knows, in a unanimous ruling last week the Ninth Circuit rejected a motorist’s claim that it was unconstitutional for police to require him to present a driver’s license when he was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint.  As reported in the Metropolitan News Enterprise,  Vermont resident David Demarest repeatedly refused to show his license to Solano County, CA  police officers when he was stopped at a DUI checkpoint.  For being that stupid, Demarest was arrested and required to complete a program before the charge of resisting arrest was dropped.  Demarest sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, arguing that the police had violated his 4th Amendment rights because it was unreasonable to require the showing of a license at the DUI checkpoint, that there was no probable cause for his arrest and that police used excessive force.  After the trial judge issued a summary judgment to dismiss the case, Demarest appealed.  The appeals court noted that it is against the law to drive while intoxicated, it is against the law to drive without a license, and that taking drunk and unlicensed drivers off the road serves an important public safety interest.  The minimal intrusion of a DUI checkpoint and the requirement of showing a license is justified.   Even in Vermont, I imagine.

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