Some states have passed laws enacting mandatory DUI blood testing meaning that police officers can forcibly draw blood from an unwilling suspect. This means that even if they refuse to provide a sample of their breath or blood upon demand that the police can apply for a search warrant using forms that are pre-made and use whatever force is necessary to take blood out of the vein of someone. DUI lobbyists and neo-prohibitionists support this measure because in their view it provides proof of intoxication and speeds up the prosecution of DUI cases. However, many of us in the legal fraternity are appalled by this blatant disregard of our constitutional rights. I think most folks if they understood what was going on would likewise be appalled. It is a brutal tactic. It is a medieval tactic. It is an unnecessary tactic.
To make matters worse, this is not only a matter of constitutional rights, it becomes a matter of basic human rights and human dignity. We, as a nation, are the first to point fingers at brutal regimes over seas for their massive abuse of basic human dignity and human respect, but we are downright hypocrites in that we allow this practice to continue. Just as in the case of rape where “no means no” in DUI “no means no”. I first saw this report on Attorney Jay Norton’s Kansas and Missouri DUI blog, it shows just such an example of our inhumanity towards a fellow human being all for the sake of the “war against DUI”.
Here we have the police, the purported upholders of the law, beating a man, breaking his leg, stomping on his broken leg and forcibly sticking a needle in him all in the name of DUI enforcement. All of this for a blood sample they don’t necessarily even need as they can argue consciousness of guilt come trial (meaning that he refused to give a sample because he knew that he was over the limit).
But why be humane and why spend time and money on training when you can enact draconian laws and stomp and beat your way to a conviction?
Two quotes come to mind:
We cloak ourselves in cold indifference to the unnecessary suffering of others–even when we cause it. – James Carroll
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing-Edmund Burke
-Justin J. McShane, Esquire, Pennsylvania DUI Attorney
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