Citizens’ Constitutional Rights Violated by Alcohol Agents

A judge has ruled that Alcohol Law Enforcement (A.L.E.) agents violated the rights of Duke University students when they raided an off-campus party.

An A.L.E. agent falsely presented himself as a student in order to gain entrant to the private house where the party was being held. Once inside, he signaled other agents, who “pushed through the doors of the house without a search warrant and then locked partygoers inside without reading them the Miranda warning.”

A.L.E. agents insisted that they didn’t need a search warrant and that they didn’t need to read citizens their Miranda rights, although they were interrogated and arrested in the house.

The court found otherwise. “A man’s house is his castle, and that includes all members of our country, including Duke students” said , Durham (North Carolina) District Court Judge Craig Brown. “Constitutional rights are not technicalities. Constitutional rights are fundamental.”

It’s important to enforce laws, but not at the expense of citizens’ Constitutional rights.

 

References:

  • Judge rules in favor of Duke students in underage drinking case. WRAL.com, November 3, 2005; Blythe, Anne. Duke students helped by ruling in alcohol case. News and Observer, November 3, 2005.

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