Contrary to the Roundup's published opinion about the "Wolf Pack," I believe that their activities are a clear violation of our constitutional rights. The fourth amendment clearly states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons ... against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."
I am not defending drunken driving; personally I believe that drunken drivers should be placed in stocks before town hall.
Instead, I am defending the rights of the law-abiding to be secure against the government tyranny which grows with every new law.
There are endless streams of stories among citizens of and visitors to Payson about being pulled over while completely sober, with the officers asking, "have you been drinking." Often times the probable cause is nothing more than, "your license plate light is too bright," or, "there was an incident in the parking lot you just left."
The point is that for every drunk caught, there are significant numbers of innocents who have been unduly harassed by the police. No matter how noble the intentions, the end result is just another example of personal rights lost by the American people. In this case, you have lost your right to drive through Payson at night without being unduly harassed, particularly if you have not been drinking. Every time we surrender a freedom willingly, we open the door for the government to take even more of our freedoms.
Contrary to the official government position, driving on public roads is a right not a privilege. You own the car and the roads, and pay the taxes to maintain the roads and pay the salary of the police. Because of that, you have the right to demand that if you are driving safely at night, that you will not be harassed. Do not believe the myth that the police are capable of making our lives safer, proven by the fact that they have been rabidly pursuing drunks for 20 years and have made no appreciable statistical difference.
By expecting the police to catch every drunk on the road, you are in fact endangering your own safety by letting down your guard. We all must be diligent and observant while we are driving, if the police can identify a drunken or an unsafe driver, so can we all.
As Thomas Jefferson said, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Bob O'Brien, Payson