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Thursday, June 01, 2006

California nightmare

Posts like this one are why I hate reading The Agitator:
Nothing's wreaked greater damage on the Bill of Rights than the continuing war against intoxicating substances:
If you've been driving under the influence but you made it home and hopped into bed to sleep it off, you're not out of the woods yet.

The California Supreme Court ruled today that police may enter Californians' homes without warrants to arrest those suspected of driving under the influence.

The case at issue was a test of the scope of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

I seem to remember the ACLU taking a case in Michigan a while back in which police found the wallet of a girl who had attended a party where there was underage drinking. They found her driver's license, showed up at her parents' home, got her out of bed, and gave her a breath test to see if she'd been drinking (not even driving -- just underage drinking). All without a warrant. The girl hadn't had a drop. But she took the test anyway, passed it, then sued. Good for her.

The California case is a trend. And its scary. This isn't a matter of the cops following someone home, then nabbing them. This gives carte blanche to police to start making assumptions about people who might have driven home drunk, then to enter their homes while they're sleeping to arrest them.

I know what you're thinking. What could possibly go wrong?

As good and important as Balko's site is, I know reading his stuff is just gonna royally piss me off at the state of our union. It's gotten to the point where I wince as I click on the bookmark because I know there'll be a bare minimum of one post (and usually a lot more) that will leave me muttering to myself about the tree of liberty needing to be refreshed and whatnot.

This was one of those posts. No more Balko for today.

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