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'No Refusal' DUI Checkpoints Coming To Florida? 1219

Posted by timothy
from the ends-justify-the-means dept.
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."
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'No Refusal' DUI Checkpoints Coming To Florida?

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  • by geminidomino (614729) on Friday December 31, 2010 @09:12PM (#34726192) Journal

    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.

  • by borcharc (56372) * on Friday December 31, 2010 @09:16PM (#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]

  • by big_debacle (413628) on Friday December 31, 2010 @09:17PM (#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?

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday December 31, 2010 @10:06PM (#34726716) Homepage Journal

    but the limit as it is now, is way to lenient in my view.

    Yeah the .05 BAC limit where I live corresponds to 50% degradation in driving ability. I wouldn't drive if my brakes were half gone.

  • by Cederic (9623) on Friday December 31, 2010 @10:14PM (#34726774) Journal

    You have the ability to do a blood test while locked in the back of a police car, or in a police cell, where the results of the test will show blood alcohol level in a legally admissable and verifiable form?

    Nice.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday December 31, 2010 @11:20PM (#34727290)
    The right to use common modes of transportation is a right that has been a part of common law (which is supposed to be respected by our courts) since long before the Constitution was drafted. The fact that it isn't explicitly in the Constitution does not make it any less of a legal "right", according to our system of law.
  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Friday December 31, 2010 @11:32PM (#34727386) Journal

    That idea used to sound better back when refusing to be searched wasn't considered "probable cause".

    Refusal to be searched is not probable cause. Sample decision:

    United States v. Fuentes (1997, Ninth Circuit): "Mere refusal to consent to a stop or search does not give rise to reasonable suspicion or probable cause."

  • by compro01 (777531) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @12:43AM (#34727806)

    Low carbohydrate-high protein diets will produce acetone, which will screw with them. Diabetics with control problems will also give incorrect readings for the same reason.

    Also most ripe fruits will mess with them. Eat an overripe peach followed by a breath test and it will show you drunk enough that you ought to be dead. Repeat test 20 minutes later and it will still show you too drunk to drive.

  • Re:Whats next? (Score:4, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday January 01, 2011 @08:02AM (#34729336) Homepage Journal

    It's safe, cheap and accurate.

    It's only safe if you trust your government to penetrate your skin, and I do not. They have proven in the past that it's not a good idea to permit them to do so and I prefer to recall the lessons of history. You don't have to inject someone with CCs of fluid to infect them with something. Paranoid? Maybe. Any reason I should expose myself to undue risk? No thanks. It has been shown that the US Government will go to somewhat extreme lengths to silence those who are inconvenient and I don't kid myself by thinking that they care about me so much, but I like to run my yap, and I don't like mechanisms which inhibit success.

    If someone walked up to you, grabbed your finger, and caused it to bleed however trivially without your consent, that would be assault. Why you're willing to put up with it when it is less effective than a placebo is beyond me.

  • Get a grip and think about what those freedoms were and what those great men would probably really think about the situation.

    Jesus H. Christ in a pogo stick sidecar, does the quote about those who would give up their rights really have to be pasted here again? We know what those great men would think about the situation: they would think we are losing our fucking minds.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 01, 2011 @02:01PM (#34731068)

    I have no strong opinions about MADD, but to state that prohibition is "probably" going to happen is an entirely baseless conclusion drawn from nothing. The slippery slope argument is insubstantial. Their stated mandate is: "to stop impaired driving and support victims of this violent crime."

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