Georgia is blatantly and purposefully flouting a recent Supreme Court decision by turning an important part of the civil justice system into a mere technicality in several counties. In Gwinett County, if you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving and refuse to take a breath test, you will be strapped down, put in a headlock, and restrained while blood is forcibly removed from you — and it doesn’t matter if you are compliant with the blood test or not.
In the shocking and disturbing video below, you will see the front lines of the liberty vs. safety warfront. The Fourth Amendment was designed to protect against things like this. However, back in 2005, the Supreme Court ruled it was not unconstitutional for law enforcement to forcibly remove blood from noncompliant suspects — and then, in 2013, ruled that except in cases of serious offenses or emergencies, a warrant must be obtained before the seizure takes place. In several Georgia counties, that warrant is just a technicality — in fact, that step may as well not exist, thus rendering the Supreme Court’s decision irrelevant.
Here’s a video, courtesy of local news:
The reporters in the video above are biased in favor of the seizures, but by pointing out the positives of the program and then talking about deaths from drunk drivers, they present a false dichotomy, dishonestly presenting the highly invasive searches as the only alternative to curbing the rates of drunk drivers.
Here’s the simple, logical way it should work: if they ask you for a breath test, you do not have to incriminate yourself; it is within your rights to refuse. Taking that refusal as probable cause is a violation of the spirit of the language of the Fifth Amendment: “No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The following seizure of your blood is then illegitimate, as per the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately, everything they are doing is legal — unless, of course, someone in the county sues or appeals on the argument that the Supreme Court intended to use the warrant requirement as a block for searches without proper probable cause.
Reposted from Addicting Info with permission.
- Supreme Court – Warrant Needed for Blood Draw in Dui Cases (florida-lawblog.com)