Is it constitutional for the government to use checkpoints and searches to locate drunk drivers? These checkpoints and searches are unconstitutional because they lack probable cause. This is found in the "no unreasonable searches and seizures" section of the Fourth Amendment. In the year 1925, the Supreme Court decided Carroll v. United States. This ruling became known as "the automobile exception." It gave police the right to search a vehicle if the police could show probable cause. Alcohol checkpoints do not involve probable cause and are a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The checkpoint is based on random choice, which lack probable cause, needed for a search. The justices in the case Brinegar v. United States in 1949, and also the court case Mapp v. Ohio, upheld warrantless searches of automobiles whenever police had probable cause that the cars were involved in illegal activity. This decision also supports the fact that probable cause is necessary. In cases where it is discovered that the evidence to be admitted was uncovered in a search for which there was no probable cause, the evidence was refused.

Alcohol checkpoints and searches and seizures of automobiles are unconstitutional because the lack probable cause. Automobiles should only be searched when there is probable cause.

And should drunk drivers be caught, they have to be made to join programs such as Ohio alcohol addiction programs rather thrown in jail.

Jacob M.

Jason K.

Doug M.


The American Heritage History of the Bill of Rights

The Fourth Amendment, Paula A. Franklin,1991

Information: Ohio alcohol addiction programs

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