Magistrate Won't Sit At Sobriety Checkpoint

The Arizona Republic
August 14, 2002

Jim Walsh, The Arizona Republic

The following quotes are from the above-referenced article. For an exact reprint of this article click here to see the full article in PDF format.

An East Valley justice of the peace is willing to sign search warrants on the spot for blood samples from suspected drunken drivers at Mesa's annual Labor Day sobriety checkpoint. But defense attorney Craig Penrod objected to South Mesa/Gilbert Judge Tom Freestone's plan to be on site, saying it would violate a judge's obligation to remain neutral.

"They call me anyway or come see me anyway. Why does the location make a difference?" Freestone asked.

But Penrod said if Freestone was present at the checkpoint and signed search warrants, "that would blow all the cases" because state law requires officers to obtain warrants from "a neutral or detached magistrate."

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