Letter to the Editor: Drivers’ safety not worth giving up rights

To the Editor:
Jul 8, 2014

Editor’s Note: Though the writer of the following letter also writes a weekly column that appears in The Lebanon Democrat, the views expressed in this letter are not necessarily the views of The Democrat, Lebanon Publishing Co. or its employees and contributors. 

To the Editor:

Every year around the Fourth of July, I think of all the privileges and freedoms that we enjoy here in America. The words, “land of the free and the home of the brave,” are so appropriate. 

The Constitution was designed by our forefathers to protect us from the tyranny of the government. I cringe every time I hear of something that infringes on these freedoms and rights.

I understand that we need to do everything that we can possibly do to keep impaired drivers off the road, but at what cost should we do this? 

As licensed drivers, we all want the highways to be safe. Is it worth us losing our freedoms and constitutional rights to do so? I cannot understand how a citizen can legally be stopped at a so-called “DUI checkpoint.” The law says citizens can only be stopped and interrogated for probable cause. 

What is the “probable cause” for stopping a vehicle just because it is a holiday weekend? It was Ben Franklin who said, “People who are willing to trade freedom for safety do not deserve, nor will they have, either.” 

Drinking and driving has caused many problems in families. Taking away their freedoms and violating their constitutional rights is not the answer, in my opinion. 

Such acts as the preacher running away with the piano player is devastating to families also, but I do not advocate sitting up a roadblock and stopping every preacher’s automobile to check for a piano player from the church. 

I realize that this seems to be a ridiculous comparison to drinking while impaired, but the end results are the same. In either case, we have lost a little more of our freedom.

It was the late Albert Pike who said, “Ecclesiastical tyranny and political despotism are the two great forces of evil that would otherwise proceed to the emancipation of humanity.”

We should always question the authority, but always obey the laws of the land, as the Bible instructs us to do. If we think the authorities are wrong, we should do everything in our power to change the laws. 

We should never forget that Adolph Hitler’s approval rating was 97 percent in 1939.

Hershel Butts



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