Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Nice Driving! Have a Starbucks Card!

AP reports that police in Rancho Cordova, California are handing out $5 Starbucks cards to law-abiding motorists as a reward for good driving.

Needless to say, this is completely unconstitutional. The Fourth Amendment prohibits a police officer from stopping a vehicle unless there is reasonable suspicion to believe the driver has committed a crime of some kind, including a civil traffic violation. Just as it's unacceptable for an officer to pull you over to check your welfare, it's illegal for a cop to stop your vehicle just to hand out stocking stuffers.

Which is it: a goodwill scheme, or secret plot to rein in drunken driving? You make the call.

(credit: Volokh for the link)

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