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Land of the free?

September 1, 2010 - Frank Robinson

I was reading a press release the other day from The Ohio State Highway Patrol as it was announcing that troopers would be operating five OVI checkpoints in this part of the state that night and other checkpoints the next day. Then it hit me.

It made me think about the Arizona Illegal immigration controversy. In Arizona, as it is well known, immigrants as a secondary offense don't want to be asked "show me your papers."

I can understand that. But it's a secondary offense. It's still not as bad as the police being allowed to stop people for no reason other than the possibility the driver "might" be drunk, as the OHP press release was stating.

Don't get me wrong. I don't condone drunken driving. Driving drunk kills. People who drink and drive know the risks, and police are trained how to spot a drunken driver. Countless statistics prove dunken driving is dangerous and often deadly. I also don't fault the police for doing their jobs. They simply enforce the law.

If I'm speeding or violating the traffic laws in some other way, pull me over and give me the ticket. But no law enforcement agency should be allowed to stop people because the driver "might" be doing something wrong.

Back to the "show me your papers" statement. Most people have to show ID on a regular basis. Use a credit card?  Show some ID. Loan application? Same thing. Insurance? Ditto. Write a check at a checkout line? The list goes on.

I say the illegal immigrants have a pretty good thing going on. I also understand their concerns about racial profiling. But it's still all based on a second offense.

I have not been stopped in one of the police checkpoints in a very long time. The last time was in downtown Warren as I was going home from work. I showed them my "papers" (driver's licence and proof of insurance) and went on my merry way. There is just something wrong with being stopped for no reason.


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