Wright Patterson Air Force Base DUI Patrols
In San Bernardino County the California the Highway Patrol works with the U.S. Marines in conducting D.U.I. checkpoints. Can this happen in our pro-military suburbs surrounding Wright Patterson Air Force Base? The answer may lie in the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, 8 U.S.C. § 1385 which makes it unconstitutional to use the United States military for law enforcement. Howver, recent changes make an expansive reading more likely. Section 1076 is titled “Use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies”. It provides that:
‘The President may employ the armed forces… to… restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition… the President determines that… domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order… or [to] suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such… a condition… so hinders the execution of the laws… that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law… or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.’
Can this recent change in the law get an expansive reading to allow troops to engage in DUI checkpoints? What makes this such an important issue is the continued use of hype in DUI cases to justify un-American police activities and the seemingly endless desire of Ohio’s powers-that-be to provide the police with unprecedented powers. We will keep an eye on this issue as it winds its way through the state courts.