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David Rose

Bob:

Thanks for posting this and asking the question. While I have not had this experience, I have had the unfortunate experience of having a Cincinnati Police officer give me a ticket with a laser gun for going 72mph, when I was within the speed limit. The cop told me radar never lies. I knew I was not speeding. It was a known speed trap on my way home. I was rounding the bend next to a car that was passing me on I-71 northbound and it had just started to rain. When I saw the cop, I knew he was going to pull over the other guy, until he pulled up behind me. I was pissed. I tried talking to the cop, but to no avail. I got a book about fighting tickets and decided to show up in court to fight it. My brother is a Prosecuting Attorney in Michigan and he said I had very little chance of winning for 2 reasons: (1) judges see these as nuissance cases and view defendants in a dim light and (2) the money generated for communities by tickets is a top source of revenue and no one in the city/county government wants to see this go away.

Regardless of the low odds, I knew I was not speeding and I also knew from reading the book that laser can be subject to error if it has just started to rain, the unit has not been maintained or calibrated recently, or if there was user error (i.e., has the cop been certified to use it and maintained their certification). As you can imagine, this is an administrative nightmare and truth be told, most laser and cops do not have their documents up-to-date for calibrations and certifications. So, I wrote a letter to the prosecuting attorney asking for these documents and copied the court. I received a notice from the prosecutor that surprised me indicating he would not provide them ahead of time and the court had a "dim view" regarding wasting the courts time. He was trying to intimidate me by not providing them and getting me to plead out. I would have none of it. I had a motion prepared for the judge and had examples of other cases that had been thrown out due to faulty equipment. No one has stats on how much equipment is in compliance, but to keep these sensitive units in compliance would take a lot of effort by every traffic cop on the force. My gut tells me it doesn't happen and the incentive structure is to let it ride. More revenue from traffic tickets means less property taxes, that is, until you get ticketed.

Well, how does this story end? After taking the morning off work, doing a lot of prep work and being prepared to write a huge check on the spot if I lost, the cop did not show and the city could not present their case. I won! Go figure. Challenge does work and it can pay off. My learning from this experience, is that more people should challenge the system and force localities to prove they are in the right. Having lived in Baltimore where they have traffic cameras on street lights is perhaps a better approach to driving revenue, saving lives and providing iron clad proof all at once. Forcing people to slow down for lights saves lives and the posted signs are a real deterrent to driving fast.

Jackie

Within the past year, I have passed through FIVE such checkpoints.

I agree with catching drunk drivers, but I am becoming increasingly irritated at the sheer number of checkpoints.

I am a law-abiding citizen, and I make it my practice to not drive after drinking. I have nothing to hide.

Nevertheless, I object to this practice. I believe that it is unconstitutional to stop drivers without suspicion of wrongdoing.

The proliferation of checkpoints makes law enforcement too obtrusive, and I am starting to feel like I am living in a police state.

Bob G

FIVE checkpoints in a year is amazing. Your tax dollars at work!

You know, I'd rather the government automakers to create some kind of breathalyzer that you HAVE to pass before your car starts. That way we're all treated the same and maybe we can reduce drunk driving deaths to near-zero. Hey, if it's the number one reason for driving death, shouldn't we? But this would end a lot of police officer jobs...

Mike Stone

Good info and thoughts. I believe that as the economy continues to worsen we are going to see municipalities become even more aggressive in increasing revenue via citations. I like you think the checkpoints can be a good thing. But lets use them to filter out the obvious, and not write someone a $15 ticket for having a faulty break light. Public safety needs to practice sensitivity at times and common sense.

cynthiya

Checkpoints have become an effective tool in removing impaired drivers from the roadway in recent years, as high visibility, efficiency of enforcement and media attention have dramatically reduced the number of DUI arrests.
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cynthia jacquline
DUI

Mike

The last comment is incorrect. Smells like a bacon to me. DUI checkpoints have NOT reduced the number of impaired drivers from the road. Their sole purpose is to bring in more revenue to the city and state. I agree with Bob G - why not put breathalyzers in all vehicles (including cops , lawyers, judges and those beloved "lawmakers"). If no one can drive after drinking, everyone's safe except the cops, lawyers, and lawmakers who value power and revenue over true safety. Of course, there's no breathalyzer for drug use while driving so we need technology for that otherwise the million dollar DUI task force will still be out there "protecting society".

Glen

That mandatory test only works if you are drnkniig in a bar.I really don't know what the solution is for this. My Mom, when my brother was of an age, I think it was the summer before his senior year, did the only sensible thing to do in a culture that encourages drnkniig. She sat down with my brother and said she would give them (the crowd he ran around with) the back field (this was before we moved into town.) to have their parties on condition that they stayed back there after dark and did not drive. It worked well. The nearest neighbor had boys of his own so he never complained about the noise.My family, today, has been lucky so far (knock on wood) in that they have never been involved in an accident while DUI. Somebody up there likes them and also, they hang out with the police sheriff's dept.I really think that, short of violating civil rights by requiring all who leave a bar or home to take a sobriety test before driving, there is any solution. December 30th, 2009 at 9:21 am I really don't think .. Sorry about that. December 30th, 2009 at 9:45 am No worries.My family did similar party at home' strategies, and it seemed to work well. December 30th, 2009 at 9:57 am My Dad was dead, so my Mom had to come up with something to control the guys. It worked. December 30th, 2009 at 3:26 pm Wow, kudos to your Mom, kit.

Ryan

I found the following iitarmofnon from the Ohio government website cited below 2nd Offense-ALS for one year for a prohibited BAC;-ALS for test refusal = two year license suspension;-Jail Minimum of 10 consecutive days or five days jail + minimum 18 consecutive days of electronically monitored house arrest combined, not to exceed 6 months;-Fine Minimum $300 and not more than $1,500;-Discretionary driver's intervention program;-Vehicle immobilization and plates impounded for 90 days;-Court License Suspension 1 year to 5 years.

Nayely

My wife and I live about 130m from the proposed site and we have 2 small chdelrin.The proposed location is a minute commercial area in the midst of a large residential area. I fear that this technical non-residential status will trump the reality of the residential location which includes schools and child-care centres.Everybody I have spoken to who has lived near a rehab centre tells me they bring loitering, anti-social behaviour and needles in the street. I'm also concerned about Brockley becoming a centre for drug users, more dealers moving in and there being violent conflict between them and with existing drug dealers.If these concerns make me a nimby then so be it. If it was your neighbourhood and your kids you might also have concerns.At the consultation meeting last Wednesday, the advocates told us that in their experience of running 150 such centres, there would be minimal problems and we would barely notice the centre's existence. They emphasised that service users would be a self-selected sample committed to recovery and could be holding down jobs, have chdelrin and/or only suffering from a mild problem with cannabis use. When it was suggested that some of the users would only be attending because of court orders, there was muted assent.The rosy picture painted by the advocates also stood in contrast to testimony of residents who had worked with the client group in question, others I have spoken to who have lived near rehab centres, and the impression given by CRi's own risk assessment. According to this document, there is a moderate likelihood of moderately severe agression from service users towards staff, volunteers, peer mentors, peer advocates, service users and visitors. This risk will be reduced by issuing all staff with personal alarms. Risks to local residents and passers by are not assessed, but I think we can assume they won't be issued with personal alarms.The general impression was one of a meeting divided between advocates and residents, with no honest broker to mediate or give unbiased information. Also sorely lacking was anybody from the organisers who knew how to chair a meeting. This alone went a long way towards undermining the effectiveness of the consultation.My faith in the consultation process was further undermined by the consultation document' that advocates said had been distributed to 1000 local residents. Few people in the immediate area say they received the document although many who actually received it may have ignored it because at first sight it looks like a general consultation with no relationship to the local area. Only in the small writing on page 2 would readers find out that a rehab centre is proposed for Shardloes Rd. No street number is given, no map is given and there is no photo of the building.The document includes a questionnaire that doesn't ask residents how they feel about having a rehab centre on their doorstep, it only asks them if they want better drug treatment services in the area. There are no quantifiable options that could be used to register opposition. Only one of the text boxes could conceivably be taken as an invitation to voice opposition. This box is at the end, the responder would have had to go through the nauseating series of leading questions to get that far, and any contents would not contribute to the hard statistics' that end up being presented to the mayor. As an object lesson of how to lie with surveys, it's only failing is that its shifty guile is all too blatant.The above considerations seriously undermine my faith in the rest of the assurances from the advocates, including the assurance that this really is the best location. If it really is, then fair enough, it has to go somewhere, and it's just my bad luck if it turns out badly. However, it's difficult to believe any assurance when it's being offered up alongside obvious flim-flam.

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