National Park Security Checkpoints Upheld


     (CN) – The 9th Circuit on Tuesday upheld the use of checkpoints at the entrances to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks to stop illegal hunting.




     The checkpoints ensnared Ricardo Fraire, who was charged with drunk driving after a ranger smelled alcohol on his breath and observed that his eyes were “bloodshot and glassy.” Fraire gave the ranger permission to search his vehicle, where the ranger found several open alcohol containers.
     Fraire argued that the checkpoint violated his Fourth Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure.
     Finding the security stops reasonable, the three-judge panel in San Francisco upheld the lower court’s ruling for the government.
     Judge Silverman said the checkpoints were “minimally intrusive, justified by a legitimate concern for the preservation of park wildlife and the prevention of irreparable harm, directly related to the operation of the park, and confined to the park gate where visitors would expect to briefly stop.”

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