Our Property Rights Are Under Attack

  • 08/03/2017
  • Source: AAN
  • by: Bryce Phandoi
Our Property Rights Are Under Attack
In a recent decision the Michigan Supreme Court decided 5-2, that you can be charged with drunk driving without actually leaving your driveway. The very driveway that is part of your private property and under your dominion. Part of your castle as some would call it.

And to make things worse they opined that the half of your driveway closest to your home or garage (the upper portion) is the portion that is no longer private, and generally accessible to the public.

A police officer, responding to a noise complaint was walking up Gino Rea’s driveway when the door opened and Mr. Rea backed his car from the garage. Once he noticed the officer he pulled back into the garage and parked his car again, hitting some boxes in the process.

Upon contact with the officer, Rea refused sobriety tests and was arrested on charges of driving under the influence. A subsequent blood test proved his alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

The trial court and the court of appeals ruled that he was not drunk driving, since our driveways are private, and not open to the public. This seems like common sense.

However, the Supreme Court disagreed. And in the worst case of property rights abuse by the police state, decided our driveways are no longer considered private property.

In dissent, Justice Bridget McCormack chided the other justices for their disregard of constitutional protections:
“Private property rights are, of course, central to our legal system—every person has “exclusive dominion over his own soil.” If a private citizen chooses to have a few beers while washing his car (or to wash his car while having a few beers), on a patch of his own land covered by a driveway, that is his right.”

The rights an individual enjoys on private property are fundamental to the American way of life, and critical to maintaining a prosperous nation. The small continuous intrusions into our most basic rights should strike fear in our hearts and concern us all.
 Source: AAN
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