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Herald-Times defames opponents of sobriety checkpoints

Printed in the Herald-Times, June 18, 2011

To the editor:

The Herald-Times' June 3 editorial was shameful and despicable.

Supporters of sobriety checkpoints (including conservatives, moderates and liberals) make utilitarian arguments about why the "inconvenience" of a checkpoint is necessary to prevent the greater evil of drunk driving. While I disagree with this position, I can respect the intentions of those who make that argument.

I do not respect those who argue that opponents of these checkpoints are a bunch of drunk drivers who do not wish to get caught. That represents everything that is wrong with modern American politics, where the focus is not on ideas but on destroying political opponents.

This was a shameful editorial, seeking to discredit those with legitimate objections to the checkpoints by smearing and defaming us as a bunch of drunks. And yes, I mean "us." After all, I wrote a guest editorial against the checkpoints that was published on November 16.

People across the political spectrum oppose the checkpoints. We object to being asked to "show our papers" to an agent of the state in order to proceed. We worry that this is another step toward a police state. We are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, conservatives, liberals and moderates. Are we all drunk drivers?

Scott Tibbs.