"It's for your own safety, citizen...now think of the children"

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    "It's for your own safety, citizen...now think of the children"


    Police say syringes will help stop drunk driving - Yahoo! News

    BOISE, Idaho When police officer Darryll Dowell is on patrol in the southwestern Idaho city of Nampa, he'll pull up at a stoplight and usually start casing the vehicle. Nowadays, his eyes will also focus on the driver's arms, as he tries to search for a plump, bouncy vein.

    "I was looking at people's arms and hands, thinking, 'I could draw from that,'" Dowell said.

    It's all part of training he and a select cadre of officers in Idaho and Texas have received in recent months to draw blood from those suspected of drunken or drugged driving. The federal program's aim is to determine if blood draws by cops can be an effective tool against drunk drivers and aid in their prosecution.

    If the results seem promising after a year or two, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will encourage police nationwide to undergo similar training.

    For years, defense attorneys in Idaho advised clients to always refuse breath tests, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Christine Starr said. When the state toughened the penalties for refusing the tests a few years ago, the problem lessened, but it's still the main reason that drunk driving cases go to trial in the Boise region, Starr said.

    Idaho had a 20 percent breath test refusal rate in 2005, compared with 22 percent nationally, according to an NHTSA study.

    Starr hopes the new system will cut down on the number of drunken driving trials. Officers can't hold down a suspect and force them to breath into a tube, she noted, but they can forcefully take blood a practice that's been upheld by Idaho's Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The nation's highest court ruled in 1966 that police could have blood tests forcibly done on a drunk driving suspect without a warrant, as long as the draw was based on a reasonable suspicion that a suspect was intoxicated, that it was done after an arrest and carried out in a medically approved manner.

    The practice of cops drawing blood, implemented first in 1995 in Arizona, has also raised concerns about safety and the credibility of the evidence.

    "I would imagine that a lot of people would be wary of having their blood drawn by an officer on the hood of their police vehicle," said Steve Oberman, chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' DUI Committee.

    The officer phlebotomists are generally trained under the same program as their state's hospital or clinical phlebotomists, but they do it under a highly compressed schedule, and some of the curriculum is cut.

    That's because officers don't need to know how to draw blood from a foot or other difficult sites, or from an infant or medically fragile patient, said Nicole Watson, the College of Western Idaho phlebotomy instructor teaching the Idaho officers.

    Instead, they are trained on the elbow crease, the forearm and the back of the hand. If none are accessible, they'll take the suspect to the hospital for testing.

    In a nondescript Boise office building where the Nampa officers were trained, Dowell scanned his subject and prepared to draw blood. Chase Abston, an officer taking his turn playing a suspect, recoiled a bit, pressing his back deeper into the gray pleather chair.

    Dowell slid a fine-gauge needle into the back of Abston's hand. Abston, who had been holding his breath, slowly exhaled as his blood began to flow.

    All the officers seemed like they'd be more comfortable if their colleagues were wielding sidearms instead of syringes. But halfway through the second day of training, with about 10 venipunctures each under their belts, they relaxed enough to trade barbs alongside needle jabs.

    They're making quick progress, Watson said. Their training will be complete after they have logged 75 successful blood draws.

    Once they're back on patrol, they will draw blood of any suspected drunk driver who refuses a breath test. They'll use force if they need to, such as getting help from another officer to pin down a suspect and potentially strap them down, Watson said.

    Though most legal experts agree blood tests measure blood alcohol more accurately than breath tests, Oberman said the tests can be fraught with problems, too.

    Vials can be mixed up, preservative levels in the tubes used to collect the blood can be off, or the blood can be stored improperly, causing it to ferment and boosting the alcohol content.

    Oberman said law enforcement agencies should also be concerned "about possible malpractice cases over somebody who was not properly trained."

    Alan Haywood, Arizona's law enforcement phlebotomy coordinator who is directing the training programs in Idaho and Texas, said officers are exposed to some extra on-the-job risk if they draw blood, but that any concern is mitigated by good training and safe practices.

    "If we can't get the evidence safely, we're not going to endanger the officers or the public to collect that evidence," he said.

    The Phoenix Police Department only uses blood tests for impaired driving cases. Detective Kemp Layden, who oversees drug recognition, phlebotomy and field sobriety, said the city now has about 120 officers certified to draw blood. Typically, a suspect is brought to a precinct or mobile booking van for the blood draw.

    Under the state's implied consent law, drivers who refuse to voluntarily submit to the test lose their license for a year, so most comply. For the approximately 5 percent who refuse, the officer obtains a search warrant from an on-call judge and the suspect can be restrained if needed to obtain a sample, Layden said.

    Between 300 to 400 blood tests are done in an average month in the nation's fifth-largest city.

    During holiday months that number can rise to 500, said Layden, who reviews each case to make sure legal procedures were followed.

    Outside of Arizona, some law enforcement agencies in Utah have officer phlebotomists, and police in Dalworthington Gardens, Texas are cross-trained as paramedics and have been drawing blood for about three years. The NHTSA is in talks with Houston, Texas about doing the phlebotomy training there, he said.

    They're all attracted by Arizona's anecdotal evidence.

    "What we found was that the refusal rates of chemical testing lowered significantly since this program began," Haywood said. "Arizona we had about a 20 percent refusal rate in 1995, and today we see about an 8 to 9 percent refusal rate."
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    Not sure, but don't think this a good idea. We already have no refusal nights where there is an attorney at the jail to sign the warrant and medical professionals to draw the blood. If they want that to go further they should either have nurses on hand at all times at the jail to take blood or move the DWI area to the hospital.

    I'm in law enforcement and see how many drunks are out there on the streets at night. And it does suck when you have to respond to an accident where a drunk has caused it and a child has been killed. But I don't think we should be trained to take blood whether its at the scene or at the jail.

    Now if we could take a sample like a diabetic takes when they are testing their blood sugar levels I would agree. I don't know the specifics, but why can that test not get the same results?
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    Not only is this NOT a good idea, but I pity any officer that tries to stick me on the side of the road.

    Given the track record of shoddy evidence preservation, potential for evidence "planting", fishing expeditions (wow, he has traces of marijuana in his blood too...JAIL), and "malicious sticking" with nothing other than the cop's "reasonable suspicion" to go on, this is far overstepping bounds.

    Pull me over at 1:30 just because I am out driving (my reason for being out? None of yer frickin business..how's that?) and refuse to blow a breathalyzer until the cop can give good reason for the pullover? Yep, that's a forced stick.

    There are also enough challenges of breathalyzer accuracy and open source code controversy that "maybe" with his extra power they'll just do away the the machine and go straight to the mandatory stick.

    Umm..nope....not a good idea.
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    that is totally crazy
    This space for rent

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    WTF is next!? Things like this make me sick and embarrassed to be American.
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    I'd be going to jail for something a lot worse than suspected drunk driving if I were to be forced to give blood... Over my dead body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    I'd be going to jail for something a lot worse than suspected drunk driving if I were to be forced to give blood... Over my dead body.
    "Hey, officer...while you're there could you go ahead and do my delt injection?KTHNX"
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    Why does that make you embarrassed to be an American? In other countries they would just kill you. I'm just sayin.

    What, do you think it is your American "right" or "privelage" to get s**t faced and drive around? That's non-sense!

    I'm against an officer taking your blood as well, let the docs do that, but to be embarrassed to be an American seems a little extreme.
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    Quote Originally Posted by panmerc View Post
    Why does that make you embarrassed to be an American? In other countries they would just kill you. I'm just sayin.

    What, do you think it is your American "right" or "privelage" to get s**t faced and drive around? That's non-sense!

    I'm against an officer taking your blood as well, let the docs do that, but to be embarrassed to be an American seems a little extreme.
    in other countries they don't pretend to have a constitution acknowledging inherent rights...maybe if you lick their boots extra clean they will just taze you a few times.

    Never been pulled over and harrassed by abad attitude cop for no probable cause, have you?
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    That's true, most countries don't have a constitution. But our constitution also says that if you commit a crime you lose your constitutional rights.

    "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    That is the Preamble, it was written to ensure people have a safe place to be. Not protect the criminals.
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    Sweet ****ing Christ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by panmerc View Post
    That's true, most countries don't have a constitution. But our constitution also says that if you commit a crime you lose your constitutional rights.

    "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    That is the Preamble, it was written to ensure people have a safe place to be. Not protect the criminals.
    SO what crime are you committing if, when driving home at 130 WITHOUT drinking, and are pulled over by a hardon with an inferiority complex because of "swerving" who decides you have to take a breathlyzer, which you refuse as I mentioned until he can prove probable cause for pulling you over....

    You know, the whole innocent until proven guilty thing.
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    As far as the bad attitude cops. Most are jerks because they deal with non-sense all day or night and they have heard your story a hundred times.

    "You should be catching the real bad guys", "Your just be a racist cop", "why don't you go eat another donut", "I have a good reason why I was driving like that". The list goes on and on.

    But the truth is this. Most bad guys are caught on traffic stops, we can't see your skin color until we are walking up to your car, I already ate my donut haha, and you don't have good reason for doing that. You just think you are special and the laws should only be enforced on everyone else.

    I'm not trying single you out dsade, "you" is being used in a general term. Please dont take any offense to it.
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    What The MotherF**k?! How can anyone think this is an appropriate application of authority?
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    The way the law is written he can pull you over for swerving. As far as making you breath, what state do you live in? I know in TX there has to be more PC than just swerving. I don't know your whole situation, but if you think he was out of line file a comlaint and take it to court. Thats where the whole innocent until proven guilty comes to play. An officer can detain you on suspicion. Arresting comes after he has probable cause.

    If I pull someone over for swerving I can only make him do field sobriety tests. If he fails them then I can arrest for dwi. But I'm not gonna do the tests unless there is enough suspicion for dwi. You may have ran into a hardon for an officer, but if it were me, I would file the complaint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by panmerc View Post
    The way the law is written he can pull you over for swerving. As far as making you breath, what state do you live in? I know in TX there has to be more PC than just swerving. I don't know your whole situation, but if you think he was out of line file a comlaint and take it to court. Thats where the whole innocent until proven guilty comes to play. An officer can detain you on suspicion. Arresting comes after he has probable cause.

    If I pull someone over for swerving I can only make him do field sobriety tests. If he fails them then I can arrest for dwi. But I'm not gonna do the tests unless there is enough suspicion for dwi. You may have ran into a hardon for an officer, but if it were me, I would file the complaint.
    It's naively adorable to see so much faith in police and court systems that would never target innocent people to generate revenue, nor plant/fabricate evidence or use excessive force.

    No officer or government official can be trusted with THIS kind of power...EVER. Force a hospital environment and professional? maybe. In the field...HELL no.
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    well said. thanks for bringing this to our attention.
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    Ok. Then we just agree on different levels. You say NEVER, I say maybe under certain circumstances.

    I do think you have to have some faith in our police and judicial system. It does work most of the time. Is it perfect HELL NO!! Yeah there are corrupt cops, lawyers, judges, doctors, business professionals, preachers, boy scouts, etc, etc.

    Why do you think I'm naive about my stance? I think I'm looking at this realisticly.
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    Only time we can do that in MD is if they are suspected and get transported to the hospital. It's just part ofthe normal hospital stay at that point. It can be used as an alternate to an intoximeter but you can refuse... To believe they have a right to force it out of you is bull**** and should never be allowed. If there's that much PC then a SFST and the offi er's testimony are sufficient for conviction... Forced blood withdrawls are never needed or should be allowed.
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    If the SFST or officer's testimony was enough for conviction, then why have a trial? No one driving drunk would be able to contest at trial. The breathalyzer and blood tests are used to prove the SFST's and officer's PC.

    From a different angle, if the blood test is more accurate, wouldn't you want that test over the breath test? If there was something that could prove my innocence I would want it at my trial.

    I understand the original post was about whether or not the police should have the authority to take blood. Again, I personally agree it shouldn't be allowed and I wouldn't try to take blood on a scene. Maybe and only a maybe if it was the finger prick test.
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    I've won cases where the intoximeter results were thrown out of court. It's used as additional proof but you can still prove a case in court without it.
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    That's cool, I understand you can still win trials without it. But without the proof of the tests, can a good lawyer not argue that the SFST and police report are nothing more than hearsay? Especially when excessive force and profiling claims are in the news.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsade View Post
    It's naively adorable to see so much faith in police and court systems that would never target innocent people to generate revenue, nor plant/fabricate evidence or use excessive force.

    No officer or government official can be trusted with THIS kind of power...EVER. Force a hospital environment and professional? maybe. In the field...HELL no.
    Drawing blood on the hood of a patrol car seems odd and I doubt it's done very often. More likely you will be arrested, and it's drawn at the station as further evidence, same as a breathalyzer, when you really think about it there is little advantage to taking it in the field, suspect can fight easier/possibly get away if he does shake you loose, it's dark, fewer other officers to assist, etc. It would have the advantage of being more accurate given there is not the additional time window for metabolizing alcohol from the system, but the results aren't immediately evident to help decide PC for the arrest, I just can't see it being done, at least not in Texas.

    As to whether or not blood draws are acceptable or unreasonably intrusive I'm on the fence, I hate drunk drivers and think to many of them get off given that the "facts" of most DWI cases are primarily opinions, even the breathalyzer has some serious questions around it. But as an American it does seem to be a serious intrusion on a person. Either way, a phlebotomist is a trained professional, when you get blood drawn at your Dr's office does the doc actually do it? Does his nurse? Outside of an ER I've never had anyone other than a phlebotomist draw it, as a matter of fact when my dad was in the ER for kidney stones earlier this year the nurse didn't even draw blood, an EMT-B who worked in the ER did it. The officers have had the same training as your average EMT-B or 20yo student working for a medical testing lab.
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    Quote Originally Posted by panmerc View Post
    That's cool, I understand you can still win trials without it. But without the proof of the tests, can a good lawyer not argue that the SFST and police report are nothing more than hearsay? Especially when excessive force and profiling claims are in the news.
    With today's CSI juries anything is possible, DWI cases have always been a pain to prove and require lots of paper. Your best evidence is all opinion and totality of the circumstances type stuff. The intoxilyzer is assumed to be a good gauge by most people, they like hard scientific numbers, and everyone knows what .08 is, most people can't interpret nystagmus, SFST clues, etc.
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    That's cool, I understand you can still win trials without it. But without the proof of the tests, can a good lawyer not argue that the SFST and police report are nothing more than hearsay? Especially when excessive force and profiling claims are in the news.
    A good lawyer can argue a lot of different angles and win depending on how well the case was done and how experienced the officer is. Hearsay? No, not the same thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by panmerc View Post
    That's true, most countries don't have a constitution. But our constitution also says that if you commit a crime you lose your constitutional rights.
    IF you commit a crime some of your rights are curtailed. And the IF is subject to probably cause, warrants and such, which is the general problem people have with the blood taking. The whole point of being innocent until proven guilty and having the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure of one's person and property. You know, technicalities.

    As far as the bad attitude cops. Most are jerks because they deal with non-sense all day or night and they have heard your story a hundred times.
    That's part of the job, if they can't deal with it without being morons they shouldn't be wearing a badge. They should be in retail.

    "You should be catching the real bad guys", "Your just be a racist cop", "why don't you go eat another donut", "I have a good reason why I was driving like that". The list goes on and on.
    Your list is nonsense. How about a polite, "May I know the reason you pulled me over?" That or a form of that is something I always ask as respectfully as possible, and usually get a mouth full of bile from the prick along the lines of, "I'll tell you when I'm ready!" I have a recent mod to my vehicle though that moderates cops' behavior: a CCTV system. Pretty simple really, just a camera mounted on the dash, but it's amazing how polite and professional cops can be when they know they're being taped and will be held accountable for their bull****, should they decide to give any.

    Ok. Then we just agree on different levels. You say NEVER, I say maybe under certain circumstances.
    Which is the naive part dsade refers to. The government does not take special powers that it doesn't eventually convert to general powers. What is okay under certain circumstances always become SOP with a few court decisions and moron judges.

    From a different angle, if the blood test is more accurate, wouldn't you want that test over the breath test? If there was something that could prove my innocence I would want it at my trial.
    If you're not doing anything wrong, you shouldn't have anything to hide...

    A full and complete search of my house would prove I'm not manufacturing meth to sell, so I guess I should welcome that search whether or not it comes with probable cause.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imnotascoolas
    The officers have had the same training as your average EMT-B or 20yo student working for a medical testing lab.
    Like the one that had to put 10 holes in my frigging arm to draw blood for my last physical? Now give that same person a badge and an attitude and the power to drag someone in to justify their stop or hit their unofficial quota of tickets/arrests? My ass.

    People need to stop looking at this in terms of what makes the cops' jobs easier. Their jobs are not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be hard to detain, arrest, and convict an American citizen, and I'm sick of hearing whining about it being hard. See how easy you want things to be when it's your nuts on the line for a crime you either didn't commit or has been greatly exagerated or trumped up. If I had a dime for every cop that has threatened me or someone I know with bull**** 'catch-all' charges like disturbing the peace and what not to outright threats of false charges, I'd be able to bail out the financial system. Give one of these blue boy power trippers a needle to stick in my arm? No God damn way.
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    Excuse me sir, may I have my rights back plz?
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    It's pretty much proven through history that once a right it voluntarily forfeited, you'll never see it again barring a revolt...
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    Like the one that had to put 10 holes in my frigging arm to draw blood for my last physical? Now give that same person a badge and an attitude and the power to drag someone in to justify their stop or hit their unofficial quota of tickets/arrests? My ass.
    I've had nurses stick me half a dozen times as well, my only real point was to counter the argument that only Doctors should be doing blood draws. As I said I'm very much on the fence on blood draws, I can see and argue both sides effectively and I'll be the first to make the slippery slope argument in any debate on giving government additional powers.
    Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    People need to stop looking at this in terms of what makes the cops' jobs easier. Their jobs are not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be hard to detain, arrest, and convict an American citizen, and I'm sick of hearing whining about it being hard. See how easy you want things to be when it's your nuts on the line for a crime you either didn't commit or has been greatly exagerated or trumped up. If I had a dime for every cop that has threatened me or someone I know with bull**** 'catch-all' charges like disturbing the peace and what not to outright threats of false charges, I'd be able to bail out the financial system. Give one of these blue boy power trippers a needle to stick in my arm? No God damn way.
    I'm good with DWI cases sticking to the current standards and being very difficult to prove... if you make them all felonies. I won't even go into the BS what I would do crap in your post or the threat of your dash cam (which won't observe much more than his does) people like to talk big on the internet, the bigger they talk about what they will do the faster they submit in an actual confrontation in my experience. Granted I don't know you, just saying what I've observed in the past.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imnotascoolas View Post

    I'm good with DWI cases sticking to the current standards and being very difficult to prove... if you make them all felonies. I won't even go into the BS what I would do crap in your post or the threat of your dash cam (which won't observe much more than his does) people like to talk big on the internet, the bigger they talk about what they will do the faster they submit in an actual confrontation in my experience. Granted I don't know you, just saying what I've observed in the past.
    I would like to see an objective comprehensive analysis done on blood alcohol levels to determine the mean intoxication level that renders MOST drivers unsafe, then see laws passed for those under that limit that still cause accidents, property damage, drive unsafe, etc.

    MADD has turned this into a witchhunt and a drive to bring back prohibition, though indirectly through asinine laws.

    IMO, .08 for most is too low.

    Once we have a settled on (and protected) level, then we can talk about more life-destroying penalty levels.
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    .08 isn't the lowest that can be given to a DUI though... I agree that the .08 is too low for most and I would even argue that most get pulled over for regular, every day issues that become tell tale signs that cops will use to initiate a stop with and not because .08 made them too drunk too drive. Dead tailight/headlight,minor swerving etc. Most people at one point or another will leave their lane and it isn't due to alcohol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    .08 isn't the lowest that can be given to a DUI though... I agree that the .08 is too low for most and I would even argue that most get pulled over for regular, every day issues that become tell tale signs that cops will use to initiate a stop with and not because .08 made them too drunk too drive. Dead tailight/headlight,minor swerving etc. Most people at one point or another will leave their lane and it isn't due to alcohol.
    I know I do when I'm jumping for the radio to turn off Kanye.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsade View Post
    I would like to see an objective comprehensive analysis done on blood alcohol levels to determine the mean intoxication level that renders MOST drivers unsafe, then see laws passed for those under that limit that still cause accidents, property damage, drive unsafe, etc.

    MADD has turned this into a witchhunt and a drive to bring back prohibition, though indirectly through asinine laws.

    IMO, .08 for most is too low.

    Once we have a settled on (and protected) level, then we can talk about more life-destroying penalty levels.
    I'm game... but with that said I don't see many .08s The majority of what I see are in the .14-.20 range.
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    I'm on the lower end... Usually .10-.14... very rare to see higher than that but I haven't been on night shift in years.
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    CDB
    You have a camera in your car to record getting pulled over?! Thats awesome! You are the resident paranoid extremist. lol

    On the naive part, if you pick up the latest edition of your state laws, you can see where laws get revised and rescinded. They change all the time. At least here in TX you can see the changes. Some states may not show it. I don't know.

    I'm just saying, if the laws get passed and need to be changed they can be. Also, it generally takes years for a law to get passed. They do as much study on it as possible before they make it. If they pass it and it needs work, they can then fix it. Personally, I think the blood draw is just in the early stages, there will be alot of hearing in regards to the 4th amendment due to it being an invasion of a person.
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    I'm with imnotascoolas, I've never had one lower than .16. Except this girl who was like .03 or .04, but she was strung out on handle bars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by panmerc View Post
    CDB
    You have a camera in your car to record getting pulled over?! Thats awesome! You are the resident paranoid extremist. lol

    On the naive part, if you pick up the latest edition of your state laws, you can see where laws get revised and rescinded. They change all the time. At least here in TX you can see the changes. Some states may not show it. I don't know.

    I'm just saying, if the laws get passed and need to be changed they can be. Also, it generally takes years for a law to get passed. They do as much study on it as possible before they make it. If they pass it and it needs work, they can then fix it. Personally, I think the blood draw is just in the early stages, there will be alot of hearing in regards to the 4th amendment due to it being an invasion of a person.
    Supreme courts and civil systems throw the Big C out the window when it comes to DUI-related laws.

    Political pressure - who wants to be seen fighting MADD and perceived as supporting drunk driving.

    Checkpoints? Really...these are Constitutional??
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    Not really. Its actually quite hard to prove intoxication manslaughter. Also, here in TX most places can't even use the portable breathalyzer due to them being not very reliable.

    Most people don't want to be seen fighting MADD but they are willing to fight for the constitution.

    Checkpoints? I don't think they are constitutional.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    It's pretty much proven through history that once a right it voluntarily forfeited, you'll never see it again barring a revolt...

    Whendo we start? I would honestly love the chance to test myself in a revolution. To see if I make the right choices, do the right thing, and really bring real justice to this system. A mans merit only shows when there is a gun pointed at his head.
  

  
 

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