A New Jersey town is considering allowing warrentless searches for underage drinkers.
Montville, New Jersey is contemplating an ordinance that would allow police officers to enter private property without warrants if underage drinking is even suspected.
The proposal has caused so much controversy that neither the mayor, the police chief, nor members of the Montville Township Committee would answer questions from a local reporter about it.
Advertisement - story continues below
The controversy centers around the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Guidance counselor Debbie Meenan said:
“They are kids, and kids make mistakes, and they need to understand the consequences, but I don’t think it needs to be on their college application or somehow affect them in the future.”
One local high school senior shared his frustration with the ordinance:
“I just feel that it’s not really their business to be going into people’s houses. If you want to do that, you need to get a warrant.”
What do you think? Should the town allow warrantless searches by police officers searching for underage drinkers? Or would it violate the 4th Amendment to the Constitution?
Photo Credit: Mike Burns (Flickr)