<b>DUI smoke screen</b>
EDITOR: I think DUI checkpoints are a smoke screen, supposedly protecting us from drunken drivers, instead enabling illegal search, seizure and arrest ("Six arrested at DUI/license checkpoints, pressdemocrat.com.).
Of the 1,908 vehicles that were reported to be screened on Friday night in Rohnert Park and Sebastopol, only one driver was arrested for driving under the influence. Of the cars checked, 0.0005 percent of the drivers (just one) was a drunken driver. I believe it's safe to presume that Sebastopol police would have otherwise caught that miscreant, but they were paid overtime to staff the checkpoint.
Five other drivers were arrested for various crimes or misdemeanors. Of the cars checked, 0.003 percent were driven by suspected criminals of one level or another.
That means 1,902 vehicles were driven by law-abiding citizens.
Not only are the DUI checkpoints a waste of taxpayer money, they violate our freedoms in the name of safe roads.
<b>Then and now</b>
EDITOR: Isn't it ironic that Efren Carrillo's supporters blasted opponent Rue Furch in his first run for supervisor by claiming that paying her property taxes late — a victimless non-crime — made her unfit for public office. And now those same Carrillo supporters are trying to convince us that getting arrested twice in less than a year is just a little oopsie. Doesn't the Fifth District deserve a representative with good judgment and the wisdom to do what's right?
<b>A role model</b>
EDITOR: I have had the good fortune of seeing Supervisor Efren Carrillo work diligently and tirelessly on projects that I have also been involved in: Sonoma Clean Power and the Children's Museum of Sonoma County. I have been very impressed by what he has accomplished in his years in public service and the integrity I have always seen him display.
After watching his apology statement, I am so happy to see that he appears to grasp the nature and severity of the disease of alcoholism, so that his gifts may be fully realized in the future. He has been a role model for so many Hispanic (and other) youth, and now he can also be a role model in the way he transparently, authentically and courageously battles a demon so many talented youth face.
MELISSA BRONWYN KESTER
<b>Free speech abridged</b>
EDITOR: So a local judge has decided people can no longer gather to protest at the courthouse steps and will be fined if they wear clothing he deems inappropriate. How could he pass law school and have no understanding of the free speech rights guaranteed by the Constitution?
It's good to see The Press Democrat stand up to him. It's especially ironic that he should come to such a conclusion while we are celebrating the Rev. Martin Luther King. Every once in a while some authority will overstep his bounds and attempt to impose his own values on the general populace.
And isn't it more important that the public attend court hearings than that they wear any particular clothing? If this judge thinks wearing a tank top shows disrespect for the court, compare that with the disrespect this judge shows for the Constitution he is sworn to defend.
The entire population of Sonoma County should show up on the courthouse steps, maybe in tank tops and droopy trousers.