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So when does "protect and serve" cross the line into harassment or does it?

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2008 at 1:39 pm


Cops beefing up DWI enforcement for the holidays
Monday, November 24, 2008

http://www.northjersey.com/news/crimeandcourts/Cops_beefing_up_DWI_enforcement_for_the_holidays.html

Last updated: Monday November 24, 2008, EST 7:04 AM

Police will step up patrols and drunken-driving checkpoints beginning this week and are warning drivers against underage drinking as homecoming events and the holiday season approach.

“From Thanksgiving through the first of the year, we’re stepping up our patrols and will run some extra police details,” said Upper Saddle River Police Chief Mike Fanning, whose officers patrol local roads and a stretch of Route 17. “With the holidays approaching, there’s an extra eye out to combat this.”

Other police departments in northwest Bergen are doing likewise.

Glen Rock police will add patrols over the Thanksgiving holiday, said Police Chief Steven Cherry.

“It is part of the countywide enforcement,” Cherry said. “The project is sponsored by the Bergen County Office of Highway Safety and participation enhances our ability to receive funding for similar projects throughout the year.”

Ridgewood Detective Chris McDowell said the public should check the village Web site to become familiar with Ordinance 3065, which outlines the penalties for underage consumption and/or possession of alcohol.

“If your kids are having people at the house, make sure alcohol is not being consumed,” McDowell said. “Usually the parties start small and then they tend to grow &hellip as word gets out.”

The public is becoming more aware of ordinances that outline the penalties for underage drinking, Fanning said.

“We have an ordinance in effect about underage drinking on private property and we’re vigilant in enforcing it,” he said.

Cherry said the focus is on keeping people safe.

“The first thing affected by the consumption of alcoholic beverages is your judgment,” he said. “We’re trying to prevent tragedies.”

— Evonne Coutros

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  1. I would say that no it does not cross the line into harassment. Isn’t finding drunk drivers making our roads safer?

  2. It is ‘fair game’ if a ‘roving patrol’ finds someone operating a car dangerously, and makes an arrest. But the idea of checkpoints, wherebye a cop sticks their face into your vehicle sniffing for booze crosses the line. NJ is one of those states where drivers accused of DWI are usually convicted since they do not have the opportunity for a jury trial. Thanks to the ‘.08’ rule, you just might find yourself ‘legally’ dwi after 2 or 3 drinks, while not actually impaired. So it would only be fair, that if we are to be subject to ‘sobriety checkpoints’, bars should provide a breathalizer @ the door for patrons leaving so they would KNOW if they were in fact DWI BEFORE they got in a car.. we have speedometers that tell us how fast we are going…so why not make breathlizers available as well. It would be a great public service to use these funds to set up a breathalizer outside a bar so the patrons could have an idea where on that ‘legal’ scale they fit in…and then they could plan their future ‘imbibing’ accordingly…but…that makes too much sense for the law enforcement honchos intent upon ‘enforcement’ rather than ‘education’.

  3. The real harm is the “routine traffic stop”, where the driver and occupants are checked out without any legitimate basis for stopping. The danger in letting officers having unlimited discretion to stop drivers leads to abuse. Driving while black comes to mind. But if an officer sees reckless driving, they better stop that driver. And road blocks can be administered with clear rules for stopping a car that prevent officers from relying on a hunch. Breath tests provided at bars may help, but if your judgement is already impaired by alcohol, will you take the breath test? Would you do anything different if you blow above the limit? The real answer is to plan in advance a way to get home drunk without driving.

  4. 1:35PM – Somehow I think bar owners would tie public officials up in court for years if government tried to set up sobriety testing outside their business.
    With that said, there is more then enough “education” through TV ads and the papers about drinking and driving. It is not like they are keeping enforcement efforts a guarded secret!
    As for your statement “..intent upon enforcement..” well, that is why it is called law enforcement.

  5. 2:08… part of law enforcement includes the premise of ‘intent’..if someone intends to be a social drinker, has 3 drinks in a 2 hour period and a ‘machine’ indicts them..well…i would say thats not quite fair. How does one have a clue what their blood alcohol level is if they never had access to a machine to test it? With ANY other crime the law enforcement ‘community’ seems to want to ‘educate’ rather than ‘enforce’… i guess because its a lot easier to make overtime pay when the ‘criminal’ is clueless as to their legal standing. Nobody is condoning DWI here but its an easy arrest of a person who may have simply crossed a threshold that was measured by a machine whose accuracy has been questioned MANY times…yet the State of NJ supreme court has ruled it as admissable..the same Supreme court who decided that it was more important to free a COP KILLER Tom Trantino, than to punish him for murdering 2 police officers.. get the real drunks off the road but leave the social drinkers alone.

  6. DWI is a motor vehicle violation, not a crime. Someone arrested for DWI is a violator not a criminal. Driving is a privilage not a right. Our elected public officials who write the laws gain support by taking a stand against DWI, not supporting those who have been convicted of DWI. The police get grants for overtime do beef up DWI patrols because that is what the “people” tell their elected officials is important. If some child was hit in a crosswalk by someone who had one drink too many at dinner the “people” of Ridgewood would have a string of posts on this blog wanting to know why more was not being done.

  7. The reason DWI is a mv violation not a crime is simple..its a cash cow for the state. The ‘violator’ goes to some rinky dink municipal court where the judge, an appointee, is familiar with the officers who are ‘regulars’ in his courtroom. As such, the judge usually takes the officer’s testimony for granted, and the ‘violater’ gets screwed with a conviction that causes loss of license, increased insurance premiums, and lots of fines and surcharges for the state. Its a tax disguised as ‘feel good’ law. The reality is, and any REAL cop will tell you, the ones ‘pinched’ at these checkpoints are usually the occasional social drinker, who is borderline, and due to the lowered .08 standard, is guilty. The real problem drunks, the ones who blow 1.2 and up know the game and get away with it..those being the ones who are a danger on the road. ANY cop can stick his face in a car, smell booze, and force the borderline ‘violater’ into incriminating themselves via ‘admitting’ to consumption of ‘2 beers’.. It takes SKILL, ability, experience, and knowledge to be on a roving patrol and get the dangerous drivers off the road.. And for those of you attending parties..here are a few tips…1.Do NOT admit to consuming alcohol. Once you do, you have opened ‘pandora’s box and the cop will continue with..2. field sobriety tests. Politely REFUSE to take them. You are NOT required to, and by taking tests such as walking lines, touching your fingers to nose, staring at their pen..you have given them the rope by which to hang you with. PERIOD. If the cop thinks he/she has a case, you will be placed under arrest (probable cause? their ‘standard’ court speech..’smelled of alcoholic beverages, glassy eyes, slurred speach, unsteady on their feet..etc etc..) NOW add that BS to your inability to perform one-legged bunny hop (did you ever practice that b4 a drink) and you have convicted yourself. Yes, you will get arrested…MAYBE… and if offered the breathalizer…may have no choice other than to take it since the peoples republic of NJ has taken away your right to refuse… but you just might pass it..after which…I hope you get a good lawyer and sue any over-zealous law enforcement type for false arrest.. rememeber..the police are TRAINED to get YOU to ADMIT facts… ‘just show me you’re ok with these field sobriety tests and you will be on your way!”…. so be careful out there and dont drink too much!

  8. Obviously 11:10 has been through this before and had some disappointing results. I can assure you, if you REFUSE to do sobriety tests, you are admitting guilt. A sobriety test does not have to be given in order to arrest someone. In the report it will state that the operator refused to take any of the tests. As for the other ridiculous commetn, any REAL cop will tell you not to drive if you have been drinking at all. Your tips to the public are also ridiculous and not helpful. If a cop asks if you have been drinking, chances are he knows you have been. The bottom line is…he can smell it. So if you say no, you are simply ruining your credibility with him and now he is going to wonder what else your gonna lie about. Remember, it is not a crime to consume alcohol if you are over the age of 21. I can assure you, if you have had a drink, and are driving, as long as you do not seem impaired to the point where you will injure yourself or someone else, you will be sent on your way. So DO NOT lie to the police…they hate that. I think I already touched on the sobriety test issue. If you refuse, your a fool…your chances of being locked up are much greater. Now, if it gets to the point where you are brought in and given a breathe test….I suggest you take it and not refuse. If you refuse, you are gulity of DWI and it is another charge. Yes folks, you can be charged for refusing to take a breathe test. So please, do not listen to disgrutled people who have broke the law and became angry with everyone else but themselves because they were caught. If you go drinking, and choose to drive, then you DESERVE what ever comes your way!! It’s your responsibility to make good decesions, and it their responsibility to be there when you don’t!

  9. you are wrong 12:35pm. I have never ‘been through this before’ as a civilian. I am well aware of the tactics used by police in order to get innocent people to incriminate themselves. Any rookie can try to bully an honest citizen by threatening them at a roadblock. The FACT is if someone NEVER tried a sobriety test prior to being under PRESSURE on the side of the road from some BARNEY FIFE, the chances are that the FLATFOOT would NOT know how they performed when NOT under pressure. IF you ever attended college you might understand that a scientific experiment requires a ‘control’,but that is more than your comprehension level can absorb. So you take someone, who is scared, you use your ‘authority’ to bully them into taking some half-a$$ed sobriety test, then make your observation not haveing a CLUE how they would otherwise perform, then use it against them in one of the local kangaroo courts. I stand by my statement. DO NOT TAKE ANY TESTS. The police are TRAINED to try and convince you that by taking the tests you will soon be ‘on your way’. NOTHING could be further from the truth. They want you to trip, take a miss-step, say the wrong letter of the alphabet, etc..so they can build a case against you. Yes, I agree. Take the breathalizer. If you are sober, you win. If you blow .08 you lose…but without anything further than the machine. You may have to appeal the certain DWI conviction from Kangaroo court, but it limits the evidence against you. And lets make something CRYSTAL CLEAR…you are NOT admitting GUILT by refusing to perform sobriety tests. MAYBE in the eyes of Barney Fife…but I seem to have missed the part about ‘implied consent’ including aerobics on the side of the road to appease some overzealous cop with a mohawk in combat boots. So unless you have a badge in your pocket to flash to a ‘brother officer’ and expect ‘professional courtesy'(=no tickets, no arrests)…keep your drinking and driving to a minimum.. and… DON”T answer any questions… EVER.

  10. i would love to think that this was anything but an attempt to loot the public even more but given the horrible driving out there I would say that drunks are the lest of our problems….

  11. i would prefer cops spending there time arresting politicians …..

  12. that takes skill 858.. they want the easy path

  13. “enhances our ability to receive funding for similar projects throughout the year.” says it all.

  14. good God, whatever happened to indentation and paragraphs….?

  15. just what we need. the grammer police…HIT THE ROAD IDIOT

  16. um, 9:09- It would be, “Hit the road, idiot.” It’s direct address. 😉 (this is liking shooting fish in a barrel!)

  17. now the punctuation police? who gives a $hit

  18. I wish the police would address the drug dealing in town with as much energy as trying to catch drunk drivers. Are they afraid of these dealers who are mostly teenagers?

    Just sit by the movie theatre or the park on any friday or saturday night and you will see a number of drug deals go down. Why don’t the police see this?

  19. if you know of a place,time, or frequent dealing as you state, call the detective bureau with specifics..or the chiefs office.. If you feel nothing has been accomplished then call the prosecuters office in paramus. if they dont have the specifics the cops cant act. thanks

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