Police misusing booze checkpoints?

Stuff reports:

Wellington may have used an alcohol checkpoint to gather information about elderly women attending meetings.

The women had been attending an Exit International meeting on a Sunday afternoon early early this month in the Lower Hutt suburb of Maungaraki.

As they left, about 4pm, all were pulled over at the checkpoint and – before being asked to blow into the machine – were made to give their names and addresses, and show their driver’s licences.

In the days that followed, at least 10 of them received visits from police officers, asking questions about their association with Exit, a pro-euthanasia group. 

Wellington barrister Douglas Ewen, a specialist in human rights, said it could be an abuse of police powers if it could be proven they used the guise of a checkpoint to get details for an issue unrelated to road safety.

Similarly, the act of stopping cars for a purpose other than road safety could be seen as “arbitrary detention”, and therefore a breach of the Bill of Rights.

“If a power is conferred, it should be used for that purpose,” Ewen said.

I’m no lawyer but I would have thought a checkpoint must be for road safety and not to find out who attended a meeting down the road.

I’d suggest a complaint to the IPCA so they investigate.

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