Free «Drunk drivers’ checkpoint, how constitutional is this» Essay Sample

Alcohol consumption check point refers to road blocks normally used checkpoints on various occasions. Normally, the exercise is not carried out on daily bases but on random intervals. While the announcement of enforcement of such law is announced by the law enforcement agencies, the precise locations where such actions are to be carried out is normally not disclosed. In many cases, such checkpoints are set up at night, during weekends, holidays or any other designated day by the law enforcement agencies. All vehicles in the United States of America stand an opportunity of being engaged in such check ups.  While some jurisdictions across the US test every driver, other jurisdictions test drivers randomly or at given intervals. For instance, the law enforcers may opt to test every car that comes by after 10 cars have passed. This is normally taken in sampling criteria, where it is assumed that the outcome is representative of the entire population (Law Info, 2012).

Current state

Currently, there are 11 states in US that prohibit alcohol consumption checks.  Under the 4th amendment of US constitution, it is the citizens’ right to stay in a secure place whether back in their homes, on their journey on roads or other means of transportation. It is also the right of individuals to live without unreasonable searches. The amendment indicates that such right should not be violated. This legal base has informed the decision of the eleven states that has prohibited the establishment of alcohol check points.  The states have indicated that alcohol consumption checks intrude on the rights of drivers as unreasonable searches are prohibited by law.

Another ground for the refusal of some states not to adopt alcohol consumption searches is that such searches infringe the amendment against self incrimination. In states such as Connecticut, drivers are not allowed to respond to questions that are considered self incriminating whether in relation to alcohol consumption driving or any other probation. It is the right of individuals not to self incriminate.

In spite of the above cases, the interest of the public has been seen as outweighing the minor infringement of rights of drivers. Since it is the responsibility of the state to ensure safety of its citizens, there is no way that minor infringement of the drivers rights can outweigh the lives of people who are carried by such buses, and the life of other drivers and passengers using the same road who are prone to accidents emanating from the reckless behavior of alcohol consumption drivers.  A ruling by the Supreme Court emphasized on the same issue. In its ruling, it indicated that, state interest to reduce alcohol consumption driving, and enhance security of its people is an overriding goal over and above the interest of the state to infringe minor rights.

Fourth amendment

The fourth amendment of US constitution requires that prior approval be made by the judiciary which should be carried out before a search is carried out on an individual. However, it has become clear that such kind of surveillance involved in testing of the level of alcohol in drivers blood is not in line with the crimes defined under this amendment. The exact point of surveillance is difficult to pin point. This is evident in the case of Schmerber vs. the State. The decision provided that, it was within the legal confines for a state to direct that blood tests be carried out on drivers who were drunk driving. A police officer, who noted drunkenness and also observed other indicators of drunkenness in the accused, was authorized to arrest the accused. At the direction of the police officer, a physician was commanded to take blood samples from the individual in spite of the failure of the accused to consent.

After an analysis of the blood sample was done, intoxication was noted in the blood. The court held that the efforts by the police officer to get a blood sample and ascertain the level of alcohol on the accused who was involved in a road accident was a prudent and constitutional way of sourcing for evidence. In this particular case, alcohol test was more of evidence ascertainment rather than a normal search. While the accused indicated that there was a total breach of his right, it is clear that possession of unlawful drugs in the United States of America is a crime. On these grounds, when alcohol is consumed above the recommended levels by people who are driving on the road, it joins the category of illegal drugs to that particular individual at that particular time. This is echoed in the case of Federal Rail Administration that has over the years forced drug tests on its rail employees.  This was informed further by the high level of safety hazards emanating from drunken driving (Keith, 2007).

Fair trading practices

The US office of fair trading practices significantly prohibits any behavior among organizations and individuals that are unfair business practices. It requires that individuals as well as organizations provide goods and services that cannot harm the consumer. It is on this backdrop that development of alcohol consumption check points is viewed as being a constitutional right that has to be enforced throughout the United States of America (Ducat, 2012). When the drivers, engage in alcohol consumption driving, they deny the passengers a right to health and safe transport services.

Use of alcohol consumption check points increases the level of information sharing between drivers and passengers as well as other road users on the full attributes of the service delivered. Increase in information sharing between manufacturers and passengers as well as competitors increases their ability to make more informed decisions. Passengers are able to identify transport services whose attributes serve their needs best. It equally boosts efficiencies among competitors to the benefit of passengers.

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Transparency enables players in a market, including passengers, manufacturers, and transport organizations to know exactly what is needed at the right time and place.    In the market place, increased transparency will lead to empowerment of passengers. Once such passengers have access to accurate information regarding various transport services, their level of confidence in such transport services will be increased significantly. It will also enable them to exercise their right of choice, to differentiate between transport services with favorable attributes and those without. It will also enhance the consumers’ welfare as they shall now be capable of accessing the most health transport services at the most reasonable prices; something that is hard to achieve without transport services transparency. Increased transparency will further safeguard passengers from harmful chemicals that may be illegally embedded in transport services or any other avoidable threat or risk associated with consumption of the transport services.

Transport service transparency not only benefits the consumer, but also all the available links in the chain of supply. It helps in reducing uncertainties on goods procured by transport organizations, retailers and eventually passengers. This prevents such links from incurring losses that occurs as a result of procuring transport services that do not meet consumer specifications. Transport organizations also benefit significantly from the transport service transparency. For instance, today, many organizations have invested heavily in corporate social responsibility. There is an increasing need to communicate this extra effort to the sustainability of sensitive passengers.

Since passengers perceive socially sustainable transport services as being superior as well as the organization engaging in such processes, the organization’s adherence to the existing laws and regulations would be enhanced significantly. Transport services transparency also acts as bases for transport services improvement. Different passengers demand different transport service compositions. Finally, automobile owners forego the legal risk of being sued by passengers due to poor disclosure. Through full disclosure, no consumer would be allowed to claim ignorance of the contents of the transport services in a court of law.


Today not many states comply with the alcohol consumption check point’s policy. Drivers do not have to comply with the field sobriety tests in states where alcohol consumption checkpoints are prohibited.  In spite of this, in some states such as Connecticut, the driver has no alternative but to comply with the breathalyzer tests. This has been based on the understanding that the driving licenses are effective only after drivers comply with this check.

In spite of this, alcohol consumption driving has remained as one of the main safety problems in the United States of America. More and more people are losing their lives daily as a result of alcohol consumption driving among the drivers. This has significantly caused social disorder as children are left without some one to take care of. This is also a burden to the state. This is based on the fact that the state will have no option but to provide for such children and the elderly who have lost people that they were depending on. On this light, it is clear that alcohol consumption driving infringes on the rights of such people to have a decent living.

The ability of the United States in addressing alcohol consumption driving societal issues has been criticized significantly. Since the passing of the National Transport policy Act of 1969, various changes have been made to the US society policy. In spite of this, its effectiveness in addressing alcohol consumption driving societal issues is still limited. The act was established with an aim of encouraging transport services and sustainable co-existence in the society. It was aimed at enhancing welfare of mankind while at the same time eliminating damage to the society.

The act as well as entire US policy was established as a result of congress realization of the huge adverse impacts that alcohol consumption driving  was putting on society. There were profound effects of high level of urbanization, population growth, resource exploitation as well as industrial expansions. There have also been increased technological advances in utilization of resources which has impacted to the society significantly. The transport policy of US refers to the federal government’s action that impact on society.

Over the years, the policy has evolved not only protect the society but also to enhance the survival of the future generations. This is to be achieved with minimal disturbances to the society. Transport policy of US dates way back in 1960’s from the efforts of societal movements in US. 

While we may claim that search on drivers as to whether it is legal or illegal, it is clear that it is constitutional. The rights of a few people cannot be the overriding goal for a state to pursue over the interests of the majority in a democratic country such as US. It is on this backdrop of minority rights that financial institutions exploited their right to issue loans without any restrictions. Although these few financial organizations benefited significantly, the devastating breach of the rights of Americans is unconstitutional.

The 2008 economic recession tremendously affected the airline industry. The recession was triggered by turbulence in the US housing market. Many organizations in the US were forced to lay off employees while others that could not survive the recession were forced to close down. There was increasing delinquency in the US housing market. Giant players in the financial industry such as Lehman Brothers were forced to close. This led to huge losses being made by financial institutions and a sharp decline in accessibility of loanable funds by producers. This significantly hindered economic growth and development.

It’s the individuals’ right in the United States of America to engage in gainful employment. Drunk driving limits the ability of drivers to enjoy this constitutional right as they often face job related difficulties as a result of drunk driving. They also limit the ability of other road users to enjoy this right as a result of incapacitation or traffic jams caused by alcohol use related accidents. Consequently, use of alcohol consumption tests among drivers while on the road will significantly boost their right to engage in meaningful employment as they also enhance the ability of other road users to enjoy this right.

US bill of rights

The bill of rights presents the most current amendments to the US constitution. It is worth noting that US bill of rights forms the bases for rights protection in the country. Consequently, the constitutionality of alcohol consumption checks cannot be analyzed without reference to human rights in the country (Cornell University Press, 2012). The bill of rights in US seeks to protect the right of the citizens, their property as well as natural rights. The bill guarantees individuals a number of freedoms upon which to base their rights. The bill limits the power of government in carrying out discretionary acts over the rights and freedoms of the citizens.

It can be argued that forcing drivers to undergo alcohol consumption tests is harsh. This may breach their right against the cruel treatment and punishment. Nevertheless, as long as the exercise is carried out professionally, there would be no grounds for drivers to bend on this particular right. In the current states where the exercise is on going, individuals are taken through the process within a very short time as well as organized periods.

Alcohol consumption driving breaches the rights on freedom of movement to passengers and citizens. It is worth noting that once automobile users identify a certain route as being highly prone to accidents as a result of alcohol consumption driving; they tend to avoid such routes. Passengers may also keep of vehicles which their drivers are known to consume alcohol before driving. This implies that alcohol consumption driving limits the freedom of movement of such individuals. Consequently, a ban on alcohol consumption driving would significantly boost the freedom of movement among the residents in US. Adopting alcohol consumption driving checks in all states in US will thus not only enhance the safety of individuals, but it is also their constitutional right (Cornell University Press, 2012).

Use of alcohol consumption tests in US will significantly increase the ability of drivers to communicate with passengers as well as other road users. Once drivers stop drinking while going to work, their ability to express themselves and associate with the other members of the society will be enhanced significantly. This implies that use of alcohol consumption tests will significantly boost their freedom of speech and expression. Consequently, such an act as Alcohol consumption tests remains largely constitutional. Alcohol intake not only slurs speech, but also reduces the judgments making capability among individuals. This implies that by adopting the alcohol consumption checks, drivers would no longer have a slurred speech when communicating with other users.

On the other hand, by ensuring that drivers are not alcohol consumers, their judgment will be enhanced significantly. This will increase their ability to make decisions while driving, minimizing the level of accidents in the country. It will also reduce the instances of drivers breaching the right to live of other road users. This will significantly boost the ability of other road users to continue enjoying their rights.


From the above presentation, it is clear that of alcohol consumption tests do not compromise the constitutional rights of individuals in the US. It in fact promotes their ability to enjoy the freedom of expression as well as speech. When drivers carry out their business when sober, their ability to express themselves and make sound judgment is enhanced significantly. On the other hand, alcohol consumption tests by drivers on transit increases their ability to enjoy their rights to meaningful employment and engagement that enable them to serve their day to day spending.

On the other hand, it enables them to conserve the rights of other road users, including the right to live. Use of drunk checks on roads in US will play an important role in reducing the level of alcohol related accidents as well as traffic jams that emanate from automobile accidents on the road. This will significantly protect road users from such accidents, enhancing their freedom of movement.  

It also costless that the act dies not constitutes self incrimination. This is based on the fact that, no driver is required to self incriminate himself by indicating that he or she has consumed alcohol beyond legally accepted levels during work hours. It is the test, which is beyond the drivers’ judgment and opinion that will indicate whether or not the driver committed the offences. In a nut shell, it is clear that drunk drivers tests is not only a social and economic necessity in US, but also enforcement of the provisions of the current constitution in respect to the rights of such drivers, the society and other road users.


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