Dear Libertarians: When Pulled Over At DUI Checkpoints, Don’t Be a Brat

An article at The Daily Caller alerted me to a video recorded on Independence Day in which a 21-year-old refuses to roll down his window all the way at a DUI checkpoint and causes all kinds of trouble for the police who are just doing their jobs on a night they’d much rather be spending with their families and not having to deal with self-righteous punks.

As one who considers himself a conservative libertarian who would like to see the movement catch on, it disturbs me when I see kids using libertarianism as an excuse to act out, as a way to find trouble when there need not be any. I worry that people will conflate conservative libertarianism (with a small “l”) with the rabble-rousing Libertarianism (big “L”). When they see the disrespect that young Libertarians can have for the police, will people be turned away from the otherwise worthy fundamentals of libertarianism? I fear so.

In the video, the 21-year-old driver, stopped at a DUI checkpoint, is asked to roll down his window. He does so, but only about six inches (unnecessarily). The officer asks him to roll it down further (unnecessarily), and the kid responds, “That’s fine” because “I can hear you.” Saying “no” in one form or another to the officer after several other requests leads eventually to a K-9 unit sniffing his car and the police searching the inside. It got out of hand, to say the least, but let’s not mince words, the kid was asking for it. When you act like you are hiding contraband in your car, you will be treated like you are hiding contraband in your car, and it will not be you who is the victim.

Watching the video, it’s easy to feel sympathy for the kid, of course. The main officer does seem to have a bit of a power complex (either that or he’s frustrated that his hopes of having a smooth shift were foiled by a brat with an agenda), and the dogs jump up at the car, coaxed by the officers, presumably scratching the paint with their nails….But then you remember that the young driver was prepared for an incident because, indeed, he was hoping to cause one. He certainly wasn’t in any hurry to go home.

The last time I was stopped at a checkpoint, I rolled down my window without being asked, and the friendly female officer said good evening to me and asked if I had had any alcohol to drink that night. I answered, honestly, Nope. Without any further questions, the officer right away said, “Okay, sir, you have a good night,” and waved me along. Easy. I caused no trouble for her, and really, she caused no trouble for me. How much of a setback in life is it to be asked if you’ve been drinking? Are you in such a hurry that you can’t stop the car for a tenth of the length of time that you’ll spend stopped at the next red light? Apparently not, if you have time to waste being obnoxious and causing trouble for people stuck doing their boring jobs on a holiday evening.