If you're thinking about celebrating the 4th of July, Independence Day, by having a beer or a glass of wine, you won't be alone. But you better think twice before driving, because all across the country police will be enforcing so-called "No-refusal" DUI checkpoints.
In the land of the free, police departments — from sea to shining sea — are announcing forced blood draws, no-refusal checkpoints, and 'papers please' or driver's license checkpoints to 'keep citizens safe' this fourth of July.
Multiple states now have policies in action where drinking and driving can get your blood drawn by force — for a misdemeanor.
In spite of their increased presence over the last decade, DUI checkpoints and Soviet-style roadblocks have not proven to significantly decrease DUIs. However, low cost, free enterprise solutions are showing real results. Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are always a better option for folks who live in areas with 'vampire cops' and who want to leave home for some boozing.
Florida-based Henderson Law described their state's practice. In a statement, they detail how someone who wishes not to participate in a breathalyzer or field sobriety test can find themselves in hot water with the law.
Normally, drivers have the right to refuse a breathalyzer or blood test, requiring police officers to obtain a warrant for this test. In Florida, refusal to take a roadside breathalyzer test will trigger an automatic one year suspension of your license. But at these checkpoints, judges are either on-site or on-call, giving police the ability to quickly obtain a warrant and compel a blood sample test.
Texas will have no-refusal DUI checkpoints set up to catch Americans drinking and driving. And while at a normal DUI checkpoint one can refuse to complete sobriety tests, in Texas a judge will be on site and issue a warrant for someone suspected of drunk driving to have their blood drawn.
Well over 100 Americans will lose their lives over the 4th of July weekend, according to published statistics, which may lead some to accept the forced blood letting of suspected drunk drivers. But to civil libertarians, the impermissible taking of one's blood violates the U.S. Constitution's 4th Amendment barring unreasonable searches and seizures. Aside from the constitutional atrocity that
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Aside from the constitutional atrocity that forced blood draws present, it's also an Orwellian nightmare. Anyone who's ever seen videos, like the one below, most likely thinks of Nazi Germany torture as they watch multiple officers strap unwilling participants down to hospital beds for forced medical procedures.
Attorney Gregory P. Isaacs addressed the conundrum Tennessee residents are in. He addressed the law allowing for the no-refusal DUI checkpoints.
Any time government is allowed to commit a seizure of your body and withdraw evidence prior to being arrested for a crime opens the door for a lot of issues...This law really opens Pandora's box on virtually every DUI stop and weakens all of our fundamental freedoms.
And in Oregon, there's a monetary price to pay for refusing to take a field sobriety or a breathalyzer test. "The penalties for your first refusal begin with a fine from $500 to $1,000 and a suspension of your license for one year. For your second or any subsequent refusal within five years, you have to pay the same fine and your suspension will last for three years," according to published driving laws.
In other words, immediately refusing a police officer's request to submit to an alcohol test results in the immediate loss of one's license. Along with losing the license, a hefty fine will be levied. If you refuse a second time, your license to drive can be taken away from you for three more years.
And just if you're thinking of calling rideshare to come take you and your loved ones home after a night of drinking, be very careful. One of our field reporters interviewed a woman today who said her son, after a night of getting hammered, remembered he had left his cell phone in his car.
He went to his car to retrieve it. While inside his vehicle he called for a Lyft (rideshare). As he was sitting in his vehicle, waiting for his ride, Phoenix, AZ police approached him and gave him a DUI for sitting in his car while drunk.
To all our readers out there, make plans to stay safe on July 4th. It's better to leave one's car overnight in a parking lot than create a victim of your irresponsible driving or fall victim to the state's forced medical procedures. But, don't take our word for it, watch it in action for yourself.