Sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint

The California Highway Patrol in the Susanville area, in conjunction with the Susanville Police Department, will conduct a driving under the influence and driver license safety checkpoint on Aug. 25 somewhere within the Susanville city limits.

Often, members of our community are senselessly injured or killed on our local roadways by intoxicated drivers. The goal of the CHP is to ensure the safe passage of each and every motorist. A sobriety/driver license checkpoint is a proven effective tool for achieving this goal and is designed to augment existing patrol operations. Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving unlicensed. Our objective is to remove those impaired drivers before they cause life-altering collisions and remove unlicensed drivers who should not be behind the wheel.

Funding for this program is provided from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

14 thoughts on “Sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint

  • Are illegal aliens , who should not be here, going to be detained if discovered in car? Notice how the sobriety checkpoint is now the driver’s license checkpoint too. Next up is the show your auto insurance checkpoint? Is there a Warrant for you checkpoint? Is that dog licensed checkpoint? Bald tire checkpoint? Open your trunk checkpoint? Filed your taxes checkpoint? Too bad you have an air freshener hanging from your mirror checkpoint. Do you see what is happening to your country?

    • I see that you are using a common straw man argument, rather than making yourself aware of the issues and doing research to come up with a studied argument. No one has proposed checkpoints for insurance, warrants, dog licenses, taxes filing or air freshener placement. Nor checkpoints for people who see conspiracies behind every corner, black helicopters over every horizon, or jack-booted big brother troops breaking down doors. These checkpoints look for impairment and proof of legal right to operate the vehicle you are driving. That’s all. Turn down your paranoia flame, please.

      • Nobody proposed that the sobriety checkpoints would be used for anything else either when they were first deployed. Checking for a driver’s license is not a per se ‘public safety’ enhancement. It’s just law enforcement’s latest attempt to get in your face without having to prove probable cause. In ANY other circumstance, law enforcement HAS to have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to detain you. Not having a valid driver’s license is not determinative of a person’s ability to drive a car unless the person never had a license and a radio check alone may not be determinative of that fact. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Studied enough for you? Need some case law? Enjoy your police state, Sir!. This is just more California madness IMHO.

        • DUI Checkpoints have been around since the 1970’s and have been checking drivers licenses since at least 1997 statewide, hardly “latest attempt.” Court rulings have, over time, only restricted them more, not opened them up. And notice that I did not say “ability to drive a car,” I said “proof of legal right to operate the vehicle you are driving.” Those are two different things. A license pertains to only the second. The probable cause argument was settled by the US Supreme Court Michigan v. Sitz ruling, from a Republican dominated court. It also settled the Fourth Amendment questions. Other pertinent rulings are Ingersoll v. Palmer and California v. Banks, which laid out conditions for Constitutionally valid stops. Take a cue from many high-priced DUI defense lawyers. They gave up on the Constitutional arguments decades ago. Now they make their money by finding procedural mistakes, not constitutional ones.

  • They would bust a lot more people if they went to Weatherlow Street and set up a ” super methed-out guy with tattoos on his face walking down the street shirtless checkpoint”.

  • The sobriety checkpoint aspect, for public safety purposes, is legal. I never said it was not….the driver’s license check aspect is not. Delaware v. Prouse settled that in 1979. Also see U.S. v. Brignoni-Ponce 1975 (a little off point though). This check for driver’s license is new and has been unconstitutionally coupled with the DUI checkpoint. I would be interested in knowing when the police state started that bad act. Probable cause OR reasonable suspicion still are a required predicate before a cop can ask for driver’s license….because…(why should I have to say this again?) having a driver’s license is not per se determinative of a vehicle operator’s ability to drive safe. These checkpoints are only legal for public safety purposes….not police state “show me your papers” purposes. So Michigan v. Sitz is NOT applicable here. I think you are trying to talk past me Dave. This stuff isn’t that hard…you either live with liberty or you live with the boot of the state on your neck. Likely explanation is cops figured the combination of acts hasn’t been adjudicated so they get away with this until they don’t. Cops don’t need stupid checkpoints to catch people breaking laws. Just park near a stop sign and harvest California stops. These checkpoints exist to rub the cops power in the citizenry faces. It’s a stunt and probably also a way to earn easy OT.

    • Sorry, but Delaware v. Prouse was very specific to covering a traffic “stop,” which means a patrol car stopping a single vehicle on the road, more colloquially knows a “being pulled over.” It did not refer to vehicles in a checkpoint line, a point which has been re-litigated and still stands. The U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled anything specifically regarding license checking during a DUI checkpoint. Since it has been specifically outlawed or found unconstitutional, it is de facto legal from a federal standpoint. Individual states may pass laws against DUI checkpoints, as many have. But in states, like California, where they are legal, so is checking for licensing. And (why should I have to say this again also), we are discussing legalities of required licensure, not abilities to drive.

      I fundamentally reject, as does the vast majority of society, your either-or choice of liberty or totalitarian state. There can be no such thing as total liberty. That would mean no laws. I’m hoping that you would agree that there need to be laws. What we can disagree on is which laws to enact. But to equate having laws to “living with the boot of the state on your neck” is off the deep end.

      • Sorry, I should have read that before posting. It should have been “Since it NOT has been specifically outlawed or found unconstitutional …

  • How are you not “being pulled over” at a sobriety checkpoint? It isn’t an option. There is no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to do that. The public safety is the Court’s Constitutional exception excuse for these abominations. Public safety is NOT at issue when it comes to a driver’s license at a sobriety checkpoint.

    You have a real problem with the concept of liberty Dave. I never said there is a “no laws” state of liberty. That’s a straw man argument you invented. The cops have to have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to detain you. PERIOD That is the Constitution imperative. It is what makes America better than all the rest of the nations. You must want America to be like the others because with this significant constitutional violation we move to being like the others where you can be jammed up for identification on mere suspicion or less. I will not countenance a “show me your papers” police state that you apparently enjoy.

    As I mentioned, the checkpoint itself is a cop racket anyway. Enjoy that boot on your neck.

    • There is an actual legal definition of a traffic “stop” and it does not involve entering a checkpoint. You have a problem with how the U.S. Supreme Court decision went down. The Court is, by force of Article III of the Constitution itself, the final arbiter and interpreter of the Constitution. We may not agree with what they rule. But what they rule is law until reinterpreted by a later court. We can whine, but they win, not because of a left or right wing conspiracy, but because the Constitution itself says so. In addition, court rulings over the last 20 years have put more and more restrictions on checkpoints, leaving them less obtrusive and more transparent, with less chance of abuse.

      When people complain about checkpoints, calling them Nazi tactics, they are forgetting one thing. When those regimes “asked for papers,” that meant show me your state-issued internal passport that often said who you were, what job you had, where you were allowed to travel to, what restrictions on your movements had been placed on you, what religion you were. If you were someplace you weren’t supposed to be, you got arrested. At DUI checkpoints, they ask for your drivers license, which you must have to operate the vehicle you are driving. That is vastly different than Nazi “show me your papers,” shows a lack of understanding of history as well as demeans what the people of Germany and Europe went through.

  • I see what’s on your mind and it’s not good. You went there. The Court went the opposite.


    You won’t read the cases I cited so here is a quote.
    2. Except where there is at least articulable and reasonable suspicion that a motorist is unlicensed or that an automobile is not registered, or that either the vehicle or an occupant is otherwise subject to seizure for violation of law, stopping an automobile and detaining the driver in order to check his driver’s license and the registration of the automobile are unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Pp. 653-663.
    And another:
    (a) Stopping an automobile and detaining its occupants constitute a “seizure” within the meaning of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, even though the purpose of the stop is limited and the resulting detention quite brief.
    And another:
    (b) The State’s interest in discretionary spot checks as a means of ensuring the safety of its roadways does not outweigh the resulting intrusion on the privacy and security of the persons detained.

    You’re just wrong. Just like the cops.

    So once seized, there must be reasonable suspicion or probable cause and that is a problem for you. You want cops to pull people over and have them show their papers without articulable suspicion. You deserve neither liberty nor safety then.

  • My final comment:
    Godwin’s law (or Godwin’s rule of Hitler analogies)[1][2] is an Internet adage that asserts that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1.”[2][3]‍—‌that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or his deeds.
    Promulgated by American attorney and author Mike Godwin in 1990,[2] Godwin’s law originally referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions.[4] It is now applied to any threaded online discussion, such as Internet forums, chat rooms, and comment threads, as well as to speeches, articles, and other rhetoric[5][6] where reductio ad Hitlerum occurs.
    In 2012, “Godwin’s law” became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.[7]

  • Fine. Here’s my final. Delaware v. Prouse was limited to “traffic stops.” Traffic stops are not considered, by legal finding, the same as a checkpoint stop. Citing Delaware v. Prouse has no legal bearing on checkpoints. I mentioned Nazi tactics because you first brought up the term “show me your papers.” That term is synonymous with German government control tactics of the 1933-45 era.

  • Final comments? Dang. I thought you gentlemen were just getting started. I’m going to miss you both.

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