Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Want the Fourth Amendment for Christmas!

Holy cow, this seems like a really dumb idea (via The Volokh Conspiracy):

Police are stopping law-abiding motorists and rewarding their good driving with $5 Starbucks gift cards.

A traffic officer came up with the idea to 'promote the holiday spirit and enhance goodwill between the traffic unit and the motoring public,' police Sgt. Tim Curran said.

Local businesses donated money to buy the gift cards.

'They raised a substantial amount of money,' Curran said. 'They'll be pulling over a lot of people.'
As Eugene points out, this is surely unconstitutional - cops need at least reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to "seize" someone, which includes traffic stops. On a more practical level, I would be hugely pissed if, while running around trying to finish up my Xmas shopping, I was pulled over the cops as an expression of "holiday spirit."


Chris James said...

I could see a "law abiding" driver who, unknowlingly to the cop at first, was blazing a giant doobie either causing a car chase or getting his conviction thrown out for this.

Add to the fact that, during this season, I prolly got somewhere I need to go that is more important than getting 90% of a soy half-foam white chocolate mocha with an extra shot of espresso paid for...

Elvis Drinkmo said...

I always new Big Brother drank his coffee at Starbucks. War is Peace. Slavery is Freedom. Ignorance is Strength. Starbucks is Democracy and Liberalism.

Have a Merry Christmas (Robinmas), there, JDB. See you next year.