Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

'No Refusal' DUI Checkpoints Coming To Florida?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the ends-justify-the-means dept.

Government 1219

schwit1 writes "With New Year's Eve only days away, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects this to be one of the deadliest weeks of the year on the roads. But now a new weapon is being used in the fight against drunk driving. ... Florida is among several states now holding what are called 'no refusal' checkpoints. It means if you refuse a breath test during a traffic stop, a judge is on site, and issues a warrant that allows police to perform a mandatory blood test."

cancel ×

1219 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Whats next? (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726112)

"No refusal" car searches? They'll have a judge on site to issue the OK for an otherwise unconstitutional search of your car?

Re:Whats next? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726128)

Here come da Judge! Here come da Judge!

Man, the sixties were way better.

Re:Whats next? (1, Insightful)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726138)

Nah, no refusal cavity searches at airports. And if you even think about objecting, you are a scum who wants to see the terrorists win and hate the little children, and the baby jesus.

Re:Whats next? (5, Insightful)

borcharc (56372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726142)

Perhaps its time to just accept the tyrannical police state and dismiss the false claim of an impartial judiciary and replace the police with street judges.

Re:Whats next? (5, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726234)

Sign me up.

I am the laaawww!

Re:Whats next? (5, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726378)

The sooner we get it over with and go full authoritarian, the sooner people might wake up and stop advocating more authoritarianism. I don't think a revolution will ever come in the western world with people as fat and lazy as they are, but it would be nice to know it won't get any worse.

Personally, I think the worst part of all this is that they still lie to us and tell us we're free. We aren't and weren't, and at this rate, never will be.

Re:Whats next? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726462)

I think that you overestimate people. A nontrivial fraction of the human population likes authoritarianism. They aren't being duped, or sleepwalking into it, they are begging for some movement sufficiently authoritarian to allow them to absolve themselves of the painful business of maintaining a personal ego and subsume themselves in some forceful mass-movement. The ideas that diversity is deviance and dissent is treason are self-evident homespun wisdom in many quarters.

Obligatory Cartman Quote... (1)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726446)

"Respect my authoritah!"

Re:Whats next? (2)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726482)

I AM the law!

Re:Whats next? (1)

Albinoman (584294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726160)

No, of course not. The next step is to either make all cops some kind of minor Judge (Dredd style), or just grant them their own warrant authority. For safety of course.

Re:Whats next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726174)

I haven't driven a car in 3 or 4 years, ever since moving to a major city where I felt owning a car wasn't worth the hassle, and I still find these overreaching actions offensive. Did you know that talking with passengers is one of the biggest contributing factors to poor driving and accidents? So why the fuck don't we mandate installing microphones in all cars and throw people who talk in moving vehicles in jail? Oh, right, because that's utterly fucking insane. And so is this.

Re:Whats next? (2)

serutan (259622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726276)

"What's next?" is not an argument. If we require drivers licenses, what's next -- permits to walk on the sidewalk? No.
You're obviously against these DUI checks. Go ahead and make a coherent case for point of view.

Re:Whats next? (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726366)

I'm not against DUI checks.

I'm against what I experienced in Texas when the Homeland Gestapo demanded to search my trunk. I refused because they had no warrant. Had there been a judge there he could have issued a warrant on the spot, but he wasn't there, so instead the jack-booted thugs made me stand in the hot summer sun for an hour. I felt like a Black man circa 1950. Or Japanese american in 1942. Or German Jew in 1934. Not attacked- just intimated and treated like a rat by the cops.

Re:Whats next? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726424)

>>>search my trunk

I'm talking about my car here, not a suitcase. Cops still need to have a warrant to search cars.

Re:Whats next? (2)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726432)

I do believe probable cause is still required sir...

Re:Whats next? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726368)

""What's next?" is not an argument."

Yes it is... at least if the 'whats next' is a logical progressive step. Sometimes the individual step is not bad enough to mount a solid objection in itself but the course it is part of is very evil. That is how we have moved from the system of mostly independent states with large personal freedom to the centralized police state we have now.

"If we require drivers licenses, what's next -- permits to walk on the sidewalk? No."

Allowing one DOES pave the way to the other. It is only a matter of time before someone presents that very argument. What seems ridiculous today won't seem ridiculous after a series of innocent steps that take us toward it incrementally.

Look at cameras on the streets. The idea would have been considered preposterous once. So it started with allowing people to be filmed by security cameras, then adding those cameras to public buildings, then to toll booths, then traffic lights, and finally street lamps. There are many places where we already have a UK style surveillance state in the US.

Re:Whats next? (5, Insightful)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726290)

Excellent... using the refusal of a non-compulsory breathalyzer as probable cause for a compulsory blood test. That's some flawless logic right there!

If our society demands stricter enforcement of DUI, then there's already a well defined process for crafting new laws and allowing them to go through proper judicial reviews.

. . .subverting this process by using onsite judges to piss all over the fourth ammendment is NOT the solution!

Re:Whats next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726380)

The authorities will implement "No refusal" sex with your wife/daughter.

seems simple (1, Flamebait)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726122)

if you plan to drink, plan to get a ride. if you werent drinking, you have nothing to fear about a breath test.

Re:seems simple (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726208)

Unless the previous person blew high enough that there's residual alcohol inside the machine.

As far as I'm concerned, probable cause means probable cause. If they want to stop everybody at random checkpoints like the gestapo, fine, but don't make people who seem sober take any stupid breath tests or blood tests. If there's no probable cause to believe that the person has been drinking, such tests just plain don't pass constitutional muster.

Oh, and you can bet a blood test on the side of the road won't meet HIPAA requirements for electronic medical records.

Hope those states have good lawyers. They're going to need them.

Re:seems simple (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726322)

don't make people who seem sober take any stupid breath tests or blood tests.

How do you define "seems sober"?

Re:seems simple (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726420)

Reasonable suspicion. It's not difficult to interact with a person and determine if they are sober or not.

Alas, I agree with GP. For now the best we can hope is that they do it properly.

Re:seems simple (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726332)

"Hope those states have good lawyers. They're going to need them."

Why? They have the judges in their pocket.

Re:seems simple (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726458)

I am not a lawyer or an American, so take this with a pinch or two of salt:

DUI is a state offence, and each state sets its drink driving limits differently[1], so you need a state judge to approve a warrant for performing a blood test to determine whether someone is guilty. In contrast, HIPAA and the fourth amendment constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure are both Federal laws, meaning that a violation will be tried by a Federal judge. A state with state judges in its pocket can still find itself in trouble for violating federal law.

[1] Although a certain pressure group (Mothers Against Canada or something) has made is to that the state doesn't receive any federal funding for roads if they don't meet certain requirements.

Re:seems simple (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726390)

"Hope those states have good lawyers. They're going to need them."

Or they could take the other route and refuse you permission to sue them.

Re:seems simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726224)

Right...because you if have nothing to hide you should not mind being harassed and violated. I suppose you also support airport xrays and the 1 tip terrorist watch list.

Re:seems simple (1)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726280)

its not going to be enough residual alcohol to impress a reading. and if you didnt drink at all, *buzzed driving is drunk driving* then your CLEAN breath + the last guys millidrop of alcohol will not register 0.08 so what do you care? and yes, i support the crap out of safe flying associated x-rays. if x-raying some guy to check him for explosives guarantees me a safe flight, i say ZAP AWAY!

Re:seems simple (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726434)

its not going to be enough residual alcohol to impress a reading. and if you didnt drink at all, *buzzed driving is drunk driving* then your CLEAN breath + the last guys millidrop of alcohol will not register 0.08 so what do you care?

What if your 0.07 plus residual equals 0.09? Suddenly, you are over the limit even if you are not.

and yes, i support the crap out of safe flying associated x-rays. if x-raying some guy to check him for explosives guarantees me a safe flight, i say ZAP AWAY!

I agree, if x-rays did guarantee safe flight, go ahead. However, they do nothing of the sort. It is still trivially easy to sneak weapons through TSA checkpoints: even the TSA's own analysis corroborates this (google it).

Re:seems simple (3, Interesting)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726468)

If you drive with a 0.07, which is marginally close to illegal, you should be in the backseat of a cab. dont pretend this makes no sense to you. that's like arguing attempted murder vs murder.. "your honor, the guy pulled through, that means im not a bad person" your argument reflects that logic. drink a soda=drive yourself home drink alcohol=call a cab. if you can afford to party, you can afford a cab. I will however argue against (at the proper time) people who are picked up and fined for opting to walk while drunk. This is contradictory and I know a woman who walked home and got arrested. I think someone opting to leave their car should receive something of a pat-on-the-back. unless they are rowdy or doing something so destructive that it alone would warrant a fine, leave them be.

Re:seems simple (1)

WitnessForTheOffense (1669778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726442)

if x-raying some guy to check him for explosives guarantees me a safe flight, i say ZAP AWAY!

Well that's the problem, isn't it? X-raying some guy to check him for explosives doesn't guarantee you a safe flight.

If you want to guarantee a safe flight, don't let anyone on the plane. If you want to guarantee a safe world, kill off all the humans.

"I say we take off, and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Re:seems simple (-1, Flamebait)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726268)

You boot licking, cockucking, faggot pussy who would rather trade yours(and everyone else's) freedom for some type of illusionary freedom. Hope your mom and sister, and wife and daughter all get fucking raped by AIDS infected niggers. Because if the cunts were in the kitchen where they belong, they would not have gotten raped.

Re:seems simple (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726292)

Oh yeah, that's going to convince someone of your point of view.
Grow up, junior.

Re:seems simple (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726456)

As offensive as he's being, he's right.

All the people who say "don't do x and you'll have nothing to worry about" need to be dumped down a well somewhere. They're the type that endorse police states. I'm sorry, but the downhill slide to a police state in the US needs to come to a friggin' stop.

More evidence of police-stateism just today:

Go here: http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/12/31/1254208 [slashdot.org]

Read it.

Drop a dime on your politicians and cops today. Fight these assholes with their own tools.

--
BMO

Re:seems simple (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726310)

Looks like Mel Gibson's boozing it up again.

Re:seems simple (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726350)

Well, I won't say I have been drinking, but that fifth of Everclear hasn't almost emptied itself. And some asswipes who think that throwing away mine, their's and yours' Constitutional rights, sort of needs smacked down.

Re:seems simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726356)

Hey, no where in his rant did it mention Jews.

Re:seems simple (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726396)

Mel's reformed. He loves Jews now. He still apparently hates blacks, but, y'know, one racial-ethnic group at a time.

Re:seems simple (1)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726330)

Remember back when Slashdot was a bastian of intellect? This guy exemplifies the grammar skill that we have all come to expect from other mensans. wait, no. maybe not.

Re:seems simple (0)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726452)

Eh. I supposed I "should" be offended, or whatever, due to your comment. Think I will pass though, as your opinion of me and my posts are of less value than the turds I flushed down the toilet earlier today. Just saying and all, 1460 on the SAT, in the 7th grade, while stoned as hell off ~10oz of Jack Black and a joint. And sorry, but I have never claimed to be some tech geek or MENSA member (although I did take the test and join once) as most of you faggots are just that; faggots.

Re:seems simple (1)

hexghost (444585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726338)

Those damn cockuckingers!

Re:seems simple (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726464)

if you plan to drink, plan to get a ride. if you werent drinking, you have nothing to fear about a breath test.

Unless, that is, you are diabetic or on a low-carb diet [proteinpower.com]

Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (2, Interesting)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726150)

I was under the impression that a refusal to take a breathalyzer in most states landed you in jail until your blood was drawn. That's how it is here in MN.

I just don't understand any legitimate concern to decline a breathalyzer test. It's non-invasive and it's not like it's a cheek swap DNA test. But I bet that no drop of blood goes to waste once they draw that...

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (4, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726192)

In Florida, refusal to take the breath test means your license is automatically suspended (or revoked? one of them), but, beyond that, refusal cannot be used as evidence against you. So you still can't drive anymore, but you might escape the DUI conviction.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (2)

CaroKann (795685) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726404)

In most parts of the USA, having your license suspended or revoked is almost the same as house arrest.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (4, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726220)

I suspect people refuse the breath test to buy time. It'll take a half hour to drag you to the police station, and maybe longer to get the blood test arranged, and by then your blood alcohol level might be lower?

Dunno. Never had to worry about it. I have enough money to afford a cab if it ever came down to it, and I stay home on drinking occasions like New Years to avoid the drunks.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726344)

I suspect people refuse the breath test to buy time. It'll take a half hour to drag you to the police station, and maybe longer to get the blood test arranged, and by then your blood alcohol level might be lower?"

It depends - a lot of drunk drivers don't stop drinking until right before they start driving. Some drink in the car. In these cases, their BAC will be higher by the time the blood test is administered.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (2)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726444)

Possible, but not likely that 30 minutes is going to be long enough to metabolize the booze to a legal level. If you're right on the edge, then I guess it could happen.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726232)

I just don't understand any legitimate concern to decline a breathalyzer test.

You mean the fact that it's an error prone test, that can draw false positives due to diabetes, low-carb dieting, and various non-intoxicated metabolic states, along with the fact that once the test is completed, the results can't easily be challenged and shown to be false, since there is no blood sample with which to do further testing.

Yeah, sounds great, I'll do a breath test anytime. There is absolutely no benefit whatsoever to my compliance with what I consider an unreasonable demand, due to the inherent unreliability and non-repeatability.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726414)

You mean the fact that it's an error prone test, that can draw false positives due to diabetes, low-carb dieting, and various non-intoxicated metabolic states, along with the fact that once the test is completed, the results can't easily be challenged and shown to be false, since there is no blood sample with which to do further testing.

Don't they follow up a positive breath test with a blood test? That is how it works in my country. Even if it is not the standard procedure, couldn't you insist on a blood test (since this story shows that they have the facilities to do this).

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726236)

"You don't have anything to hide, do you?" Systematic searches without probable cause are not something that we should tolerate. At the very least, it changes the legal system from "innocent until proven guilty" to "guilty until proven innocent".

As for a reason to avoid it, there are several; do some research. There are videos on YouTube that explain many of the issues,. The big one that comes to mind is that, on some models, partly covering exhaust port (where your breath comes out) can cause the reading to be significantly higher.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (1)

Felix Da Rat (93827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726244)

The issue is that breathalyzers have often been found faulty. Also, the evidence that comes from one is usually only available to the prosecution - i.e. your defense does not have a sample stored for outside testing.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (0)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726340)

The issue is that breathalyzers have often been found faulty. Also, the evidence that comes from one is usually only available to the prosecution - i.e. your defense does not have a sample stored for outside testing.

So get your own blood test.

Incorrect view of MN law (4, Informative)

borcharc (56372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726246)

I was under the impression that a refusal to take a breathalyzer in most states landed you in jail until your blood was drawn. That's how it is here in MN.

In Minnesota it is a separate crime to refuse to a blood, urine, or intoxilyzer 5000 test after being read the implied consent advisory. This is almost exclusively done at a place of detention. If you give them the finger they charge you with refusing to take the test. They can not forcibly take blood without a warrant unless there is an accident involving a fatality (or one of the other few exceptions). Minnesota law says if the test is lawfully refused then a test must not be given. IANAL but i suspect they would have to adjust this statute in order to force blood draws on people who refused, at least in Minnesota.

See MN SS 159A.51 and 169A.52 https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=169A.51 [mn.gov] & https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=169A.52 [mn.gov]

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (4, Informative)

big_debacle (413628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726252)

I believe the difference is that by the time you're facing a breathalyzer--which as you point out, there are penalties for refusing--you've committed some sort of violation. At that point, you're interacting with the police and if they have reason to believe you are under the influence--either due to the previously cited violation or via observable signs (smell of alcohol, slurring of words, etc.)--they can begin the series of tests to confirm their suspicions.

In this case, you're just pulled over and and checked for no valid reason other than everyone is being checked.

Is now when we drag out the "If you haven't done anything wrong, what do you have to worry about" line?

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (2, Insightful)

quenda (644621) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726274)

Thats how it is in most of the world. Not jail maybe, but you get arrested for the purpose of getting a blood test if you refuse a breath test. Same if you fail the roadside breath test, you can be arrested long enough to get a more reliable test. That doesn't necessarily mean being charged on the spot or jail, unless you have a very high reading. It could mean a summons in the post.
Having a magistrate on site seems an awkward way to do things.
Florida is a state right? They get to pass their own laws? Why can they not just pass a law to allow random breath testing? e.g. give the same penalty for refusal as for failure.
Drink driving kills far more people than terrorism, and it seems an utterly miniscule inconvenience compared to the ludicrous actions of the DHS.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726312)

> They get to pass their own laws?

Subject to the Florida constitution and in some cases the US constitution, yes.

> Why can they not just pass a law to allow random breath testing?

One could plausibly argue that such a law violates the 5th amendment of the US constitution, which is generally considered binding on state legislation.

I think we both agree that the DHS are way out of line. That doesn't mean this isn't out of line too.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726392)

Yeah Florida is a State alright. The same group of people that is so stupid they could not discern a "hanging chad" from a "dangling chad"; and these same idiots are going to have an untrained and more importantly an unlicensed person poke a needle in your arm. I would turn around and sue the State for failure to follow health regulations.

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726374)

In Australia.

If you refuse, you are given an equivalent penalty as if you were high anyway.

1) A Blood reading will always be HIGHER than a breath sample
2) Coating your mouth with chocolate/cherry ripe may slightly lower breath reading.
3) Tell them you just had a drink 5 minutes ago - delay the second sample if you know you are going 'down' or know a delay will see the reading lower
4) Breathalyzer discriminates against women. Women's readings are higher for the same amount (body fat and mass thing)

Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (4, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726416)

"I just don't understand any legitimate concern to decline a breathalyzer test."

The same reason you should refuse to provide the police with any information. False positives.

Judge Dred (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726152)

They did this in the movies once, look how that turned out.

Penalty? (3, Interesting)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726158)

At least in some states they need to consider the penalties for DUI. In many, drivers will be fined as little as $250 and be allowed to continue driving on a restricted license. DUI should result in a minimum one year total ban and a requirement to resit your test. There is no excuse for such behaviour.

Many other countries have made drink driving socially unacceotable. That status is long overdue in the US.

Re:Penalty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726216)

I think "drink" posting should be "unacceotable" as well...everywhere.

Re:Penalty? (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726282)

"drink driving" is the British term. I'm not sure where "unacceotable" comes from though.

Re:Penalty? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726348)

Damn, that's nowhere near British enough. Should be Mullered Driving, or Driving while Rat-Arse Pissed (D.R.A.P.)

Re:Penalty? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726478)

I assume by drink driving you mean drunk driving. As I read your post you think that things which AREN'T considered socially unacceptable should result in a minimum of one year license suspension?

Drunk driving is already socially unacceptable. I don't think anything that is socially acceptable should be a crime or punishable and I don't think being socially unacceptable in itself qualifies as a crime.

I think we should go back to punishing people when they actually do something that harms someone and punishing them severely rather than punishing them for something that might increase their chances of harming someone.

You don't punish someone for driving. You do punish someone for hitting a pedestrian. Driving is voluntary, drinking is voluntary, banning driving would reduce car injuries more than banning drunk driving. If you are going to punish people because they MIGHT do something wrong why only the drunks?

In a perfect world (0)

hajus (990255) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726178)

I've always said one of the causes of certain crime rates to be high is the selective enforcement and the 'luck' factor that plays into it. In a perfect world, every crime should be caught and prosecuted, or removed from the books. If every drunken driver was caught every time, there would be reduced penalty and it would almost never happen.

Checkpoints necessary? (0)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726180)

Do we really need DUI checkpoints? It sounds like lazy police to me. We had one of those around where I live one year I think around the time of a high school graduation. It just held up traffic and pissed everyone off (I was on my way home from work). Then the cops pulled anyone over who saw the traffic and tried to make a U-Turn. This was my only experience with this sort of checkpoint though.

So is there a significant benefit to these checkpoints that couldn't be solved by more police patrolling? It seems like by the time the people hit the checkpoint they've already had plenty of time to cause an accident unless everyone is coming from the same party and this "checkpoint" is at the exit to the parking lot.

Re:Checkpoints necessary? (3, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726336)

It's more of a spot check on nights like New Years day when they know that a lot of people are going to be driving drunk. I don't think that they force everybody to take the breathalyzer test without probable cause, but the main purpose is to cause people that are likely to drive drunk to think again.

What you're suggesting sounds questionable, sort of like speed traps.

Re:Checkpoints necessary? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726460)

So is there a significant benefit to these checkpoints that couldn't be solved by more police patrolling?

Until the drunk driver hits somebody they are unlikely to draw the attention of the police, so I doubt more patrols would put a dent in the problem. Breath test stations "booze buses" are very common here in Melbourne, Australia. I have only seen them causing significant disruption when they stake out events which are notorious for leading to drunk driving. Otherwise they just sample the traffic flow and wave people past if they have too many customers. I have been tested a dozen times over the years and I make damn sure I blow zero. My family's life depends on that.

This was a classic alcohol related crash [theage.com.au] , just near my house a few weeks ago.

Bad Idea (5, Interesting)

FCAdcock (531678) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726184)

1: I don't know where you are, but New Years isn't "days away" here... It's here now.

2: Doesn't Florida fall under the same constitution as the rest of the US? Refusing to take a brethalyzer test is a constitutional right under the 5th amendment, and as much as I'd like to see all drunk drivers charged with attempted murder, I don't see how a judge can issue a warrant without evidence simply because someone exercises their rights. Two wrongs do not make a right in this case for sure.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726342)

The same way a judge can force you to provide a DNA sample?
It may be kind of new to have a judge sitting at a road block, but this isn't really new territory legally.
This isn't even really a oh no they're trampling on our constitutional rights issue. This is simply a hey you're drunk and we're arresting you PLUS we have a judge here to prove how drunk you really are. If the judge wasn't there you'd still be arrested for DUI, this just makes the case a little more concrete either for you or against you depending on the results.

Re:Bad Idea (5, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726352)

it does sound like the judge is using your refusal to take the test as probable cause to issue a warrant.

Sounds like a 4th amendment issue. "We don't have probable cause, so we can't get a warrant. MAY we search your house?" "NO you may not." "OK then, your refusal to allow us to search gives us probable cause to believe you're hiding something illegal. Now that we have probable cause, here's the warrant. Step aside."

The 4th amendment is specifically worded to prevent that sort of abuse. (before this, in England, probable cause was "required", but refusal WAS probable cause in the law's eyes, so it didn't matter) I don't see why simply having a judge on site changes anything. Actually I don't see why they can even do that do you once they haul you off to jail for refusal. It probably comes back to your agreeing to the test as a condition for receiving your state-issued drivers' license?

Re:Bad Idea (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726376)

I fully expect to see them successfully sue over the violation of their rights. In many states refusing to take the breathalyzer when ordered to is illegal and brings sanctions whether or not your drunk. I suspect what's going on here is that they're speeding up the process.

They probably typically put the person under arrest take them back to the station and pull the blood there. This probably just speeds up the process by not requiring them to be taken in prior to the blood test.

I'm not sure if that's constitutional or if I'm misunderstanding it, but that's what it sounds like.

Re:Bad Idea (2)

dgiaimo (794924) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726400)

1) How do you read that in the fifth amendment? I just read it through in its entirety and nothing in it precludes a judge from ordering you to take a breathalyzer test.

2) You seem to be forgetting the fundamental tenet of the US legal system which is that, from the point of view of the average citizen, the judge's opinion *is* the law. A judge can issue a warrant for any reason he pleases. Sometimes you have the option of appealing a judge's decision on the grounds that it did not conform to prior case law, but that simply moves the arena into another judge's opinion. Ultimately, your rights are completely determined by what a judge says they are.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726426)

The taking of breath or blood by the government would fall under the Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure protections, rather than the Fifth Amendment. However, in Florida and most if not all other states, a driver waives their Fourth Amendment rights as to breath samples by signing for their driver's license. It's in the fine print on the form and also printed on the bottom of Florida licenses. This waiver is called "implied consent". So, even though a driver may refuse to provide a breath sample in most cases, they are more heavily penalized for the refusal. The second time you refuse can be a criminal offence also. Needles being what they are and blood draws being inherently more intrusive, the law only permits the police to take or request blood samples in certain cases. In cases involving death or serious bodily injury the Florida law already allows the police to take blood by force.

Even if there were no implied consent and Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure protections applied to DUI drivers, the remedy would be for a judge to issue a search warrant upon sworn testimony showing probable cause that some property (blood) was present on the premises (your blood stream) that constituted evidence of or was used in the commission of a crime (DUI). Before the judge at the DUI checkpoint would be able to issue a search warrant authorizing the seizure of blood from a driver, there would have to be other evidence establishing more likely than not that the driver was under the influence of alcohol to the extent his or her normal faculties were impaired. That evidence would come from the usual cop observations of a DUI suspect: blood shot eyes, slurred speech, unsteady gait, poor performance of physical field sobriety tests and observed horizontal gaze nystagmus.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726428)

and of course there is the presumption of guilt. don't see this passing as Constitutional

Re:Bad Idea (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726484)

Refusing to take a brethalyzer test is a constitutional right under the 5th amendment

If thats the way things are run in the US I suggest you either (1) Ban alcohol constmption or (2) Ban humans from driving vehicles.

(re (1); Yeah I know, its been tried.)

Something the judges should read (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726194)

An excerpt from the Fourth Amendment: "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."

The Robed 9 need to re-read that one too. Also they should re-read their own decision in US v. Leon (1984), particularly the bit about "The exception we recognize today will also not apply in cases where the issuing magistrate wholly abandoned his judicial role..." -- rubber-stamped warrants don't count.

Re:Something the judges should read (3, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726326)

Florida has implied consent laws. By choosing to drive on the roads, you agree to perform a breath test when requested by a police officer. If you don't want to, simply don't drive. Anyone refuse a test is already braking the law and will be facing a court appearance, a fine and a suspended license,

Doesn't it seem reasonable for a judge to determine that an individual refusing a non-invasive test, where the refusal has such significant repercussions, may indeed be over the limit and determine there is probable cause to test this rather than letting them off with a lighter penalty?

Re:Something the judges should read (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726372)

Florida has implied consent laws. By choosing to drive on the roads, you agree to perform a breath test when requested by a police officer.

Implied consent is bullshit, and already makes a mockery of the Fourth Amendment. There is no consent to a breath test (or any other test) implied by driving.

Doesn't it seem reasonable for a judge to determine that an individual refusing a non-invasive test, where the refusal has such significant repercussions, may indeed be over the limit and determine there is probable cause to test this rather than letting them off with a lighter penalty?

No. Refusal of a search can never be probable cause for a search, as that too makes a mockery of the Fourth Amendment. If there were a an equivalently simple test for having committed a murder recently, it would still be unreasonable to allow cops to ask that people take it, and unreasonable for their refusal to be used as probable cause for forcing them to take such a test.

Thats not bad in British Columbia (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726198)

If you refuse a breathalyser test the RCMP office is the judge, jury and executioner. You can't even take it to court as you dispute it I think you have to now go through the Superintendent Of Motor Vehicles. http://www.invermere.com/2010/09/06/bc-gets-tough-on-drinking-and-driving/ [invermere.com]

Oh and the RCMP would never abuse these new laws, no never.....

Re:Thats not bad in British Columbia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726438)

Wow, I had no idea one could refuse a breathalizer. Being Canadian (peace, order and good government) rather than American (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) the idea of being constitutionally enabled to refuse one just seems bizarre.

It seems like it would be sensible that driving a car on a public road ought to imply the forfeiture of some rights, including the one that would prevent law enforcement officers from being able to ascertain that I'm not impaired.

I fail to see how that kind of forfeiture implies the collapse of a free and civil society.

I'm totally in favor of this (2, Insightful)

serutan (259622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726212)

Drunk drivers have been killing about a 9/11 worth of Americans every couple months since the 1960s. Given the extent to which we've allowed the government to invade our privacy in ineffective ways in the name of protecting us from terrorism, I'm happy to see them do something genuinely effective against a problem that's about a hundred times worse than terrorism.

Re:I'm totally in favor of this (2)

jaskelling (1927116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726270)

If it was effective, drunk driving deaths would no longer - as you put it - still be killing about a 9/11 worth of Americans every couple months since the 1960's.

Re:I'm totally in favor of this (5, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726328)

Ok, I'll sign away my constitutional protection against unlawful search and seizure (among other things) just because you invoked 9/11 on a totally unrelated issue.

You seem to think that because they do worse things, it is fine for them to do bad things. I hope you end up getting filled with holes by some police officer while walking down the street, just because you "looked suspicious." After all, we invaded a whole country, what's one shady smuck on a sidewalk?

Re:I'm totally in favor of this (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726394)

Isn't worth it at present. The problem is that in most cases they get a slap on the wrist and their car keys back within 6 months.

Personally, I'd like them to get the keys back in 3 months, but make them use an interlock device for at least 2 years. It's way too common for somebody to be busted for drunk driving only to be busted again a few months down the road. And even then the penalties around here don't increase much.

MADD is out of control. (4, Interesting)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726222)

And the problem is, all politicians are too big of pussies to rein them in. Their eventual goal is 0% legal BAC and probably after that, a complete prohibition on alcohol at all. And you know what? I think they'll eventually get it. Baby steps. It's been going on for decades.

No, I don't condone drunk driving. I'm sorry people get hurt and die. But at some point, you have to stand up and say, I think our system is OK as-is.

Why not just force them to take the damn breathalyzer rather than jabbing them with a needle? Do they have an RN there for that, or does Barney Fife take a crack at it?

Re:MADD is out of control. (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726408)

Drunk driving is a very serious problem, considering how loose the laws are at present, I don't think you have anything to worry about in the next several decades. 0% is a bit ridiculous, but the limit as it is now, is way to lenient in my view.

Judge Dread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726228)

One step closer to Judge Dread. Why not cut the act and make the police judges.

RIP Constitution (2, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726250)

my sig depressingly relevant, again

it's illegal anyway (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726260)

it's illegal in florida to refuse a breath test anyways....

so refuse... i dont care... they'll arrest you then you're forced to take a breath test anyway... no warrant needed..

Welcome to Florida... Sieg Heil! (0, Flamebait)

Biljrat (45007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726278)

I hate the nanny state.

Re:Welcome to Florida... Sieg Heil! (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726472)

Yeah because pulling over drunks is a Nazi style tyranny.

Back in the day..... (1)

JamesonLewis3rd (1035172) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726300)

.....they would beat you down; then you would wake up in the drunk tank in a pool of blood and vomit; then there's the disheveled shuffle where you, your toxic hangover and your black eye wobble in front of a judge.
Happy New Year to You and Yours!

cut out the middle man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726346)

why not just make cops judges, call it cost cutting.

Don't wanna be an American idiot!

I demand my Constitutional right (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34726406)

I demand my Constitutional right to kill as many people as I want while drink driving - how dare you investigate me!

FACT (2)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726418)

nobody riding in the back seats of taxis has ever been administered a breath test and issued a DUI or DWI. this will get -100 because the alkies are running slashdot now.

fourth amendment (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726436)

While so many cons are focused on the second amendment, they are letting the fourth go away. Cars are personal effects and therefore when we are in them we should not be subject to any searches without probable cause. I do not understand why people who seem to be able read and interpret the second amendment cannot do the same with the fourth. Is is because they do not actually read anything, but only know what they are told by third parties? I would hate to think that is true.

Things like DUI checkpoints are sheer laziness and serve no purpose but to terrorize the populous. Drunk driving, like so many other things, need to be punished based on harm done, not on the presumption that harm might be done. If someone is driving recklessly,pull them over and, if they are in no condition to drive, take them away. I think we would have much happier roads if drivers could be removed based on the real dangers of reckless driving rather than the presumed dangers of being under the influence.

The SCOTUS has ruled that cars that are not accesible to suspects need warrants. Many conservatives still believe in the bill of rights. Unfortunately some fake conservatives, like the one's now ruling Texas, seem to want to ignore those that prevent them from building a bloated and unnecessarily intrusive central government.

US is Nazi Germany Times 2. (1, Interesting)

crhylove (205956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34726440)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr38/1308847889/ [flickr.com]

http://fourthamendment.com/blog/index.php?blog=1&title=portable_backscatter_technology_zbv_and_&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1 [fourthamendment.com]

and now this? I don't think Nazi Germany was going around giving people cancer, forcing blood tests on the street and installing guard towers in shopping center parking lots.

Sure, we aren't singling out Jews and Gays, but isn't that in a way EVEN WORSE?

We're ALL expendable in this country now. Unless you have a private jet, and even then you might still get hit with the cancer gun when you're in your limo. Is there a good country to move to and get away from this? I'm dead serious: I want out. My country has fallen into a full on police state, and I'm ready to start swimming.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>