HOLMES BEACH, FL — With the help of new technology and federal grant money, police are preparing to warrantlessly search people's refreshments as they visit the beaches of Florida.
New passive alcohol detectors can simply be hovered above a person's beverage to detect whether it contains alcohol. Similar devices can detect alcohol on someone's breath.
"We can go up to anybody we want, OK? If we see something that looks like alcohol."
On Holmes Beach, even the mere possession of sealed alcohol containers is illegal. Police are using that as an excuse to inspect anyone's beverage they choose.
"We can go up to anybody we want, OK? If we see something that looks like alcohol," said Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer to WFLA.
"Our main demographic of concern is the younger generation," the chief continued. "When you add the alcohol to the youth it doesn't give you a more intelligent human being."
The searches are facilitated by grant money from the federal government. Through the "Click it or Ticket" campaign of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), states and local police departments are encouraged to set up checkpoints and perform warrantless searches under the guise of road safety. If local police were not eager enough to violate citizens' rights, bribes from the federal government all but ensure that departments across the USA are using military equipment and using dubious policing techniques.
Police State USA recently covered a NHTSA-funded program that paid for police checkpoints to be set up along the roads in 60 U.S. cities with the purpose of collecting DNA samples from drivers.
See WFLA's coverage of the beverage inspections below: