Beware of “Fake” DUI and Drug Checkpoints
This one is a whopper! It may be one of the most blatant violation of your rights I have come across. Its happening Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Police are setting up "Fake" drug or DUI checkpoints. Officers in this town have decided to try to violate the peoples’ freedom from unreasonable search with 'fake' drug checkpoints.
According to an article on www.cleveland.com, police gathered in the express lanes of Interstate 271 after placing signs along the freeway warning motorists that a drug checkpoint that lies ahead.
Here's the catch, there was no checkpoint, only police waiting for motorists to 'react' suspiciously after seeing the signs. A local Mayfield Heights, OH assistant prosecutor says it’s a lawful and legitimate tactic in his city’s war on drugs.
“We should be applauded for doing this,” Dominic Vitantonio said. “It’s a good thing.”
James Hardiman, the Legal Director of Ohio’s ACLU, said, “Mayfield Heights police may believe they have concocted a scheme that allows them to circumvent the Constitution, but they are mistaken. Americans have a fundamental right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and courts have been clear that random drug checkpoints like Mayfield Heights’ are illegal.”
The ACLU has since written a letter to Mayfield Heights PD complaining of this clear rights violation.
Cops believe someone reacting to a sign about a fake and illegal checkpoint gives them probable cause to detain and search that person.
Part of the strategy employed in the fake deception is that police play to most drivers' naiveté. They're pulling over scared citizens, knowing that most will not refuse questions or searches of their vehicles. Police do not have to inform you of your legal options or rights unless you are in custody. So a bit of deception in the use of fake checkpoints may indeed be perfectly legal.
I have yet to encounter this in Illinois or Wisconsin, have you? Do you think this police tactic is okay? Or do you think this is a violation of your constitutional rights?