Texas drivers forced into checkpoint, asked for blood, saliva and breath samples

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants your blood. They have been tasked to use federal funding to check on the use of alcohol and drug use by drivers on the road, and are working in 30 different cities to set up checkpoints with the help of local law enforcement.

Of course, they “say” the “survey” is completely anonymous and optional, and they will pay you between $10 and $50 for the “data.” Now, if the NHTSA wants to set up in a parking lot and have signs posted offering cash for blood samples and such, I think that’s totally stupid but acceptable. Where the NHTSA goes over the line is by utilizing the resources of local law enforcement to set up cones in the street with cops directing you to pull over. That’s intimidation.

If anyone gets into one of these traps, my suggestion would be to ask the simple question “am I being detained,” and if they say no, say thank you and tell them you’ll be leaving now. Take or leave that advice, with the understanding I’m not a lawyer.

When you do as directed and end up lined up in a parking lot, can you leave? If you drive off, you know there are cops all over the place. Will you be chased down or followed and pulled over? This is the intimidation factor. I saw news about this checkpoint in Texas a few days ago, and here’s the story from Fox News.

Fort Worth police set up checkpoints on city streets, and ordered random motorists off the road as part of a nationwide federal survey of alcohol- and drug-impaired driving last week, according to The Star-Telegram. The drivers were asked to pull into a parking lot, where they could give a cheek swab and volunteer for a blood or breath test. Those who agreed were paid $10 to $50. Those who declined were briefly interviewed and allowed to leave.

Some drivers complained of feeling strong-armed into participating…

When you involve a bunch of cops in uniforms with flashing lights and a bunch of cop cars … that’s certainly a bit intimidating. The Fort Worth police chief apologized yesterday and said the department would not be involved with future “surveys.” What was the experience like?

Carl Olund, one driver who was pulled over in Fort Worth, told NBCDFW.com he felt pressured to provide samples of his breath and saliva to the federal workers there. He said he was not told it was voluntary.

“But she was like up in my window to where I was like, ‘OK, I might as well just stay.’ I mean, the cops are around, so if I take off, I’m not going to have four or five cops chasing me.”


12 replies
  1. bien-pensant
    bien-pensant says:

    You will do as you are directed.
    Resistance will mean consequences!
    (cue: heavy sound of marching boots)
    *Not for nothing but, isn’t that illegal as per the Fourth Amendment?*

  2. Murphy
    Murphy says:

    Have we used the terms Jack booted thugs or Fascists lately?? Did anyone happen to notice if any cars with Obama stickers were stopped or just the ones with NRA and Don’t tread me .

      • Lynn
        Lynn says:

        Read what? The Constitution? the Bill of Rights? Rules of engagement? the Book of Mao?, ?Mein Kampf? or 1984?

      • bien-pensant
        bien-pensant says:

        Yes, we should all read and reread all of the founding documents. They are always illuminating.
        *Example: the Fourth Amendment says government must be founded on Republican principles not a pure democracy which Madison wrote lead to anarchy and chaos. Illegal search and seizure is to be avoided as it leads to “…turbulence and contention; [and] have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property …”*
        Those old, now dead, white guys sure had a clue.

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        I would love a little specificity in? your criticism.? I find the premise of “innocent until proven guilty” and “the right not to testify against oneself (right to remain silent; see cheek swab, blood or breath tests)” to be the most applicable.? Your mileage may vary.

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        I think the presumption of innocence trumps being treated like you are a perpetrator.? How can you be interrogated if you are not arrested?? That’s my understanding of the Fifth amendment and Miranda.

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