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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Firefighter hits 'stupid' DUI checkpoints

Sobriety_checkpoint_kcpd_1998 Firefighter Mike C. says he doesn't drink or do drugs. But he says he will be out with his girlfriend Friday night in the Northland, and he's concerned about the announced Kansas City police sobriety checkpoint there.

In an email last night, Mike C., an area firefighter, told me had been through the St. Patrick's Day checkpoint on the Plaza, and asked:

  • If I run into this checkpoint this Friday, what are my options? I am told that the police are required to post that a DUI checkpoint is ahead. The checkpoint I went through on the Plaza did have that sign yet, it was just before you got to the checkpoint. If you did try to turn off or turn around, I noticed that there were motorcycle cops standing by to pull you over anyway. Is that legal? Aren’t you allowed to turn off the road prior to a checkpoint?
  • As far as the unwanted literature. I didn’t want the printed materials that were put on my dash by the officer at the checkpoint. He told me that it would indicate to the other officers that I had been checked. When I get to the last officer at the checkpoint, am I allowed to return the printed materials to them?  Will they accept them? If they refuse to accept them and I throw them on the ground, will I get in trouble? Again, this is unwanted reading material that I will not read and I do not want yet is put involuntarily on my dash by the police officers.
  • I am not a drinker so these checkpoints are not a concern for me. Just want to know where I might stand Friday if I am faced with this stupid checkpoint delay.

Mike and I exchanged a couple of emails, and I asked him why he didn't just pitch the printed material later. He answered:

  • If someone were to throw garbage through your window and it land on your dash and/or seat, is it your responsibility to keep driving and find the appropriate receptacle to get rid of it?
  • Full email exchange

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