ROXBURY, NJ - If you think Thanksgiving Day egg nog is disgusting and only bearable with a good dose of cognac, rum, bourbon (or all three), go for it. But keep this in mind: Law enforcement will be conducting a driving while intoxicated checkpoint in the township this month.
The announcement, from Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, did not say where or when the DWI checkpoint will take place, only that it will happen sometime "during the month" of November somewhere in Roxbury.
Checkpoints of this type were deemed legal in 1990 by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the state Attorney General's Office. "The court held that the interest in reducing alcohol-impaired driving was sufficient to justify the brief intrusion of a sobriety checkpoint," said the office. "If conducted properly, sobriety checkpoints do not constitute illegal search and seizure in most states."
The U.S. Supreme Court heard the case after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints violated the U.S. Constitution Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
As explained by the Attorney General's Office, DWI checkpoints involve "the stopping of vehicles or a specific sequence of vehicles, at a predetermined fixed location to detect drivers impaired by alcohol and/or other drugs." It insisted the DWI checkpoints "not only serve as a specific deterrent by arresting impaired drivers who pass through the checkpoints, but more importantly, as a general deterrent to persons who have knowledge of the operation."
Hence this story.
"Sobriety checkpoints increase the perception of the risk of arrest, if they are adequately publicized and highly visible to the public," said the Attorney General's Office.