Get an Ignition Interlock Device, Get an Automatic GPS Tracker?
Technology is capable of making life easier and more enjoyable. From smart cars to smartphones, advances in computers and other tech continue to move at a rapid pace.
However, technology is not without downsides. In recent years, certain technologies have raised numerous privacy concerns. In Minnesota, for example, a state agency has acknowledged that it included GPS tracking capabilities on ignition interlock systems for years without notifying individuals whose vehicles were equipped with the devices.
If you have been charged with a DWI, or you believe your legal rights have been compromised by the police or a government agency, it’s important to get in touch with a Texas DWI defense and criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Secret GPS Tracking for Drunk Driving Offenders
According to a recent report, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has admitted that it secretly installed thousands of GPS trackers when it put ignition interlock systems in the vehicles of drunk driving offenders. The tracking capabilities were not disclosed to the individuals who received the ignition interlock devices.
An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that requires a motorist to submit a breath sample before the vehicle will start. If the individual has alcohol in his or her system, the device will prevent the car from turning on.
The inclusion of GPS tracking technology raises Fourth Amendment concerns, as tracking a person’s movements without their knowledge or consent may be a violation of the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment specifically states that citizens have a right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…”
The central question is whether an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her vehicle—and whether this expectation extends to their routes and destinations when they drive. For example, if someone with an ignition interlock device consistently drives in and out of an area of town known for being a high-crime area, or a place where drug deals are carried out, do the police have probable cause to follow the person simply for driving to a certain destination? It’s a potential slippery slope for the erosion of privacy rights.
One Minnesota lawyer pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has already addressed the issue of GPS tracking devices in Jones v. U.S., in which it ruled that the use of GPS tracking technology by the government is unconstitutional except in limited circumstances. A Minnesota congressman stated that he thinks the trackers are a “bad idea with serious questions surrounding the legality of it” and will call for hearings on the issue unless the agency discontinues the practice.
Discuss Your Case with a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
The government and the police do not have a blank check to trample your rights in the name of stopping a crime. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated by a police or government investigation, help is available. The Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers at Broden & Mickelsen are Board Certified in Criminal Law and Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Get your free case evaluation from a Texas federal criminal defense lawyer today by calling 214-720-9552.
Broden & Mickelsen, LLP
2600 State St Dallas, Texas 75204
Main Phone: (214) 720-9552
SOURCE: Broden & Mickelsen