Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ihr Ausweispapieren, Bitte

CHECKPOINT ARRESTS: A DUI checkpoint in Wilmington on Friday night resulted in 16 people being charged with drunken driving. Newport Police Chief Michael Capriglione, who heads the New Castle County Checkpoint Strikeforce, said police set up a checkpoint from 9 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday at Pennsylvania Avenue and Tower Road. Officers also recovered a stolen vehicle and arrested five people on fugitive warrants, four on drug counts and 42 for other charges.

So, these cops, who were looking for drunk drivers, arrested 67 people, of whom 16 were driving drunk. The other 51 were not driving drunk, but they were wanted for something, so the cops arrested them.

As Slacktivist notes, in order for the police to know who's wanted, they have to run an ID check. Is that within the purview of a drunk driving checkpoint? How does running papers help the police determine who's drunk? This sounds a whole lot like everyone's papers were checked and the cops arrested those who were caught in their nets.

This checkpoint was so successful, I'm sure it's going to be repeated. Where? When? How often? Are the checkpoint cops going to be issued their own uniforms? Are their powers going to stop at checking IDs for warrants? How long before a K9 unit gets assigned routinely to any checkpoint? Will the cops be empowered to search your car on suspicion? Will they fall under the expanded FISA powers that don't seem to be going away, giving them all the time they need to get a search warrant after the fact?

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