Do you drive on Interstate 15 Utah? If so, your license plate may be scanned by the feds. Apparently, the DEA and some Utah sheriffs want to scan all the license plates on cars that drive along the ‘drug corridor.’ They feel that if they can compile the data, they can spot drug traffickers. The list of problems with this policy is growing exponentially.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups pointed out that, “It’s not against the law to drive down I-15 from Utah to Nevada to gamble, but there are a lot of Utahns that would be pretty embarrassed by that.” How would that look? A law abiding Utah citizen is traveling to Nevada for entertainment on a frequent basis, and they become a suspect in a drug investigation.
What about the people that drive along that corridor for work? Will there be some type of exemption process? How would the DEA and local law enforcement even keep up on such a thing? A person gets a new job, drives down I-15 for a week straight, then ends up on the DEA watch list. How is that an effective use of resources? It seems to me like this policy would harass far more law abiding citizens than it would catch drug runners.
There is a lot of drug activity on Interstate 5 – arguably more than any other Interstate in America. If this happens in Utah, should we expect this to happen on the West Coast as well? I know a lot of law abiding citizens that drive up and down I-5 everyday to visit family, at all hours of the day. According to the DEA’s desires, these people would be suspected of drug trafficking. Are they guilty until they prove their innocence?
Doesn’t the DEA realize that most drug runners use rental cars? And that rental cars NEVER have the same license plates as other cars? How would this policy identify those people? What if they identified the rental car as a drug trafficking vehicle, and the next time down the road they decided to pull it over and harass the occupants, just to find out that the car was rented that morning by a law abiding citizen? If I had to deal with ‘Big Brother’ style tactics and harassment, I would just avoid that freeway, even though I was a law abiding citizen. Does the DEA realize the ramifications on businesses along that freeway if this policy was enacted?
Click here to read the full story in The Salt Lake Tribune.