Thursday, May 28, 2009

"...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..."

Dallas, TX is an unlikely addition to the list of places I wouldn't spit on if they were burning.
A word of caution before you head out for the long Memorial Day weekend: It's also No-Refusal Weekend. Which means? Well, if Dallas police pull suspect you're drinking and driving, you'll be stuck with a butterfly needle attached to a vacuum-packed container, and two vials' worth of your blood will taken and tested. And, no, you can't refuse the test...
I'll cheerfully contribute to the defense fund of the first drunk Texas cowboy to tell Chief Kunkle to "Come And Take It".


(H/T to Billy Beck.)

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's just wrong on so many levels.

Gmac

Anonymous said...

The po-po still need a warrant for the blood draw. This happens every day, let alone holiday weekends.

Are some reading this as the police carting cowboys to the horsepistol to draw their blood without a warrant?

What's the beef, chief, er, um, Tam?

Shootin' Buddy

MedicMatthew said...

I find it interesting that individual agencies can enforce such a policy. Up here in the frozen north we have an implied consent law which simply put states that you will submit to a breath test (or blood test if you so choose) if suspected of operating under the influence, failure to do so will result in an automatic non-negotiable suspension of your driver's license for a period of 30 days.

Matt G said...

Oops. You're mistaking the Dallas Observer for quality journalism; it ain't so. (Note: former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller (2002-2007) came to Dallas as an exposé journalist for the Observer, having just left the National Enquirer. Kinda brings the whole damned city down a notch or two, doesn't it? Puts it in the same pool as Cincinnati, once you find out that Jerry Springer was their frickin' mayor, once.) There's some stuff you're not hearing there.

One: In Texas, when a driver is arrested for DWI, he is read a DIC-24 Statutory Warning. It tells, in medium legalese, what will happen if you don't submit a specimen of your blood and/or alcohol. You are provided with a copy of the DIC-24, and it is read aloud to you in either English or Spanish. (I suppose if there were other languages, we'd call the Language Line. So far it's always one of these two for me.) We then ask the arrestee, whom we MUST have had probable cause to arrest, for a specimen, and he or she can either refuse (and be subject to a lengthy D.L. suspension, since they agreed administratively to give a specimen when they obtained their license fromt he state), or submit to the specimen.

If the driver refuses, then the officer usually shrugs and says, "cool-- one less piece of paperwork to keep up with," and books in the driver. The book-in will include writing an affidavit of probable cause, which in the morning a judge or arraigning magistrate will review with a critical eye toward whether the officer had sufficient reasonable suspicion to stop the driver and investigate as to his level of intoxication, and whether the officer had found, and could articulate under oath, sufficient probable cause that he could legally arrest the driver.

Think these don't get kicked back without P.C. found? It happens. I've seen it happen. (NEVER to one of my P.C. affidavits, I hasten to add.) If the officer puts down "saw drunk, arrested same," that's not gonna fly. If the officer simply states that the stop was based on "weaving," that's not sufficient. D.W.I.'s are tough to get to P.C. for.

Now, there are times where the driver really, really, REALLY needs to give his blood, but refuses. What's the officer to do? Well, he can try to compel the driver to give that blood up. How? Well, that takes a warrant. In fact, it's a search warrant (and some now type 'em up as search and arrest warrants, since they have to meet the same criteria.). The judge has to be a member of the bar (can't be a Podunk Municipal traffic judge or mayor, and can't be a Justice of the Peace). Deep at night, judges are typically asleep in their beds, and most cops don't want to wake them up, so this hasn't typically been done. But if, say, you have an egregious Hit & Run, or a felony DWI (3rd or more, or with a kid in the car), you go ahead and wake the judge, and present your PC while another cop watches your prisoner. (Note: it's *BAD* for a cop's career to bring a prisoner to the judge's home. This makes judges understandably cranky.) The judge puts a VERY careful eye to the officer's probable cause before granting a warrant to seize the driver's blood.

The problem, of course, is that, tick-tock, tick-tock-- that ethanol is being metabolized out of the driver's bloodstream at an average rate of .08% BAC per hour. Arrest a driver who was at 0.119 at midnight, and by 02:15 he may very well be below 0.08, which is the prima facie level to presume intoxication.

Matt G said...

[Continued...]
It's happened more than once that an officer seeking a warrant for a blood draw has been refused one by a judge, even though another judge or magistrate found sufficient P.C. to arraign, and set a bond for the crime. The standard is usually a little higher for the warrant than for arrest.

The officer must, upon the order of the judge to do so, forthwith obtain a specimen of the driver's blood. He has no choice in the matter, under penalty of Contempt of Court.

What Dallas has been trying out on its No Refusal Weekends is that they're having judges at the jail or at the mobile command posts, ready and on duty to review the officer's probable cause for arrest right then and there. If he finds none, I would assume that the driver is cut loose, absent another cause for arrest. This could actually save a driver a night in jail.

The paper kinda forgot to mention the fact that the Dallas Police are only going to be taking that blood without consent after obtaining a warrant from a judge to do so. And that's constitutional.

"“ The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, 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."

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what the Tejas cop sez.

Why are we upset with this???

Shootin' Buddy

Matt G said...

Argh! I hate it when I make a typo, and I made a big one in the above mammoth post (never exceeded the maximum word count before!):

"The problem, of course, is that, tick-tock, tick-tock-- that ethanol is being metabolized out of the driver's bloodstream at an average rate of .02% BAC per hour."

Anonymous said...

.02 would be a health, young male who is physically active. Slower for most.

The expert/scientist I use always testifies at trial and deps, .015.

Shootin' Buddy

dantesfiringrange said...

While the story is missing some critical details, I'm all for anything that keeps people from making the mistake of going to Dallas.

Sadly, Houston is trying very hard to match Dallas in governmental stupidity. I often wonder if Texas could evict Dallas and Houston? It's something to think about.

staghounds said...

Yes, Fourth Amendment. One's blood isn't testimony, so the Fifth doesn't apply.

Blood is more private than, say, face or fingerprints. Less so than a bullet buried in the tissue, which requires an adversarial hearing for involuntary removal.

theirritablearchitect said...

MattG.,

You're doing nothing more than talking out of your handbook. Seriously, I don't give a shit if you are, "just doing your job," or whatever you care to call it.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, about useless, meaningless protocol for endless paragraphs.

I find this quote...entertaining, "...We then ask the arrestee, whom we MUST have had probable cause to arrest, for a specimen, and he or she can either refuse (and be subject to a lengthy D.L. suspension, since they agreed administratively to give a specimen when they obtained their license fromt he state), or submit to the specimen..."

It seems to me that you are A-OK with the implications behind what's going on here, and that can be summed up with one word, assault.

Probable cause? Probable cause, just like Kathryn Johnson, I'm sure (Only Ones backing up Only Ones, NO MATTER WHAT!).

Ever heard of ketoacidosis? It's common in people with mild to severe blood sugar regulation problems, and as a side effect, usually renders a person's breath with a slightly alcoholic odor, without the person having ingested ANY alcohol. Does this pass YOUR muster?

Is that scenario cause enough for YOU to arrest someone, and then stick them with a fucking needle, just because it says so in the Gawdalmightly-Law? And if they refuse, because of principle, or because they damn well know they haven't been drinking, well, you already spelled that one out for us, didn't you?

That scenario should be met with one of several different actions that I can think of, and some of it involves your duly earned harm, in one way or another.

Statist lout, hope you sleep well with this shit.

staghounds said...

Um, the ketoacidosis/diabetic/other drunk-sypmtom-that isn't impairment person is EXACTLY the person who should demand to give a blood sample!

I've been pulled over for suspected DUI, when I was very sleepy and drove poorly. I asked for a blood test right away, because I had no chemical impairment.

Blood tests clear the innocent!

Oh, wait, there's the false positive and the mixed sample possibility, too. And natural nystagmus.

Better go back to the old system, where the police officer's opinion is the only thing that comes into court.

That's waaaaay more protective of our rights, isn't it?

Some dufus who gets in a car when he has no business driving endangers all of us, and I'm perfectly willing to risk a needle if I'm risking my and your life by driving so poorly that I get pulled over for it.

theirritablearchitect said...

staghounds,

YOU may be willing to get stuck with a needle, but I'm NOT.

Get it?

theirritablearchitect said...

"Some dufus who gets in a car when he has no business driving endangers all of us,..."

Spoken like a Liberal gun-grabber.

Seriously, change a couple of words, and what do you have?

Sounds like "checkpoints" set up for "firearms checks".

Anonymous said...

Wow, clearly the privilige of driving is more important than my safety and the safety of those around me. Lets get something straight right now. The Constitution says nothing about the right to drive a car. Its amendments say nothing about the right to drive a car. For everyone here who laughs at morons who claim the Constitution is a living document that means you DONT have a right to drive. Period.

Taking this argument to its logical conclusion means that irritable must object to making any suspect give up biological evidence. So suspected rapists, murders, and other felons should never have to surrender their DNA. I wonder if you support that.

Last, bringing up the diabetic thing is L-A-M-E. If someone is in this state, THEY NEED help right away. The police should be there to HELP them. The downside is that the blood test might actually take too long to indicate they are in trouble.

Robert said...

Every parcel and piece of the Bill of Rights has been interpreted, regulated against, administratively waived, over-ruled, defined, limited, abolished or otherwise altered until they really don't exist at all.

Tragic, really.

Robert said...

Ahhhhhhh, missed it! Just above my post: the quick comment that coming and going on the public roadways is NOT a right of a human being....but a privilege owned and granted by the all-powerful state!

Anonymous comment, but probably by someone who BELIEVES they believe in liberty, freedom and the American idea.

Good luck with your future and that of your children. Keep believing! You're FREE!!!! And the state is keeping you SAFE!!!!

Anonymous said...

Driving is not a right, try reading what is written.

Robert said...

Which author of the constitution do you think would agree with you?

staghounds said...

I'll try the word switch-

"Some dufus who uses a gun in a way that endangers all of us ought to have his gun taken away. And if I'm that dufus, I hope it's taken away before I hurt someone."

As to the "coming and going on the public roadways" argument,

1. they are CAR ROADS

2. built for CARS

3. by the STATE

4. maintained by the state

5. on land paid for by the state.

So pretty much, yes, driving a car on the State's roads is a privilege that the State has every right to control.

"Which author of the constitution do you think would agree with you?"

Probably all the ones who didn't insist on a provision making toll roads unconstitutional, and who later voted for toll roads to be built. And harbour fees to be charged.

Some people seem to think the Constitution means that our governments should be helpless before the whim of the individual.

That's nonsense.

The world the Founders lived in was a tough old place. You can look right in the Federal and State constitutions they wrote for their expectation that their governments would from time to time tax, take stuff from, conscript, enslave, and kill its citi2ens. The constitutions just set up procedures for doing these things.

staghounds said...

Their citi2ens, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Fear, i was going to respond after dinner, but AGAIN Staghounds hits it out of the park, OUTSTANDING.

Robert said...

I always joggle my drink a little when I see (especially on a part of the internets where folks like guns and such) someone jump to their feet to be the first to argue for the power and glory of the state. And the rights of the state! Never forget those!
Well. Whatever. There's no arguing that the state is plenty powerful and glorious. You wouldn't have any idea where they are getting all that money to build their roads and land...would you?

My pick for founders that would be OK with todays license, registration, taxes and safety equipment on their horses would be Washington, Franklin, and Frances Marion. George would have a tag that said "1st-N-(peace sign). Franklin would have a vanity tag that said "Big Ben" and Frances: "SWMPFX." I'm sure they wouldn't have a problem with police drawing blood, if it saved just one child.

Tam said...

All hair-tearing and name-calling aside, I'd like to address one specific statement by Anon 6:31...

"The Constitution says nothing about the right to drive a car. Its amendments say nothing about the right to drive a car."

It sure does: Amendment IX covers it in detail.

Now, staghounds brings up a good point about the .gov issuing various dicta for the use of its roads, but that's for another post.

Anonymous said...

I'm also sure they would support your "right" to pilot a plane, or fly a helicopter. You have the right to go anywhere you wish, unless you are under some restraining order. You do not have the "right" to operate a vehicle. The second amendment clearly gives the right to bear arms. Stop being a liberal activist and reading something into the constitution that you want to be there.

Tam said...

(Further, my rights do not come from the Constitution; they come from dropping squalling into the doctor's hands with a pair of opposable thumbs and a functioning forebrain. Thus saith both the Declaration of Independence and Amendment IX of the Constitution.)

Tam said...

"The second amendment clearly gives the right to bear arms."

The Second Amendment doesn't "give" you anything. If they repealed it tomorrow, you would still have the right to keep and bear arms, just like you'd still have the right to free speech if they repealed the first amendment.

Only serfs are "given" rights by a piece of paper.

Tam said...

Anon 10:39,

I will bet $20 that you had to go look and see what Amendment IX said...

No need to answer, because if you claim you didn't, you're lying.

Anonymous said...

Very nice Tam. But the ninth does not grant specific rights, it just indicates that rights exist outside those listed. I guess you could use that argument to say that anything not covered in the constitution or amendment was a "right." Which in all fairness would be consistant with all your other posts. I think you are straining to make your point.

Tam said...

Here's a thought experiment:

There's a guy who has a nice chunk of pavement on the west side of town. Suppose he called me tomorrow and said "Hey Tam, Tony George here. How's about you bring the Bimmer out to the Brickyard, get likkered up and do a couple of hot laps."

Would I be guilty of a criminal offense? If so, which one? Why?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I read it. To see if you were indeed stretching that far. It's great to read you advocating repealing the 2nd. Thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

Depends, if you are operating a motor vehicle and threaten others with your drunk driving then you certainly fall into reckless endangerment.

Vote For David said...

With the requirements for either a suspected felony DUI or a wreck before the "no refusal" rules kick in, I'm grudgingly OK with this. Grudgingly as in, I might not get in a fistfight over it with the police.

But it would be just a little tiny bit of legislation to take away the special circumstances language in the law. At that point, I think we start seeing corpses with badges.

Billy Beck said...

"Some dufus who gets in a car when he has no business driving endangers all of us, and I'm perfectly willing to risk a needle if I'm risking my and your life by driving so poorly that I get pulled over for it."You can speak for yourself, punk.

Billy Beck said...

"Lets get something straight right now. The Constitution says nothing about the right to drive a car."Hey, you anonymous piece of shit: it doesn't say anything about the right to cultivate roses, either. It doesn't say anything about the right to scratch your own balls. There is a lot that it doesn't say anything about, and your bullshit is paper-thin.

You'd better take heed, sonny. This is going nowhere good, and you can have it your way if you want it.

Mark my words.

Anonymous said...

My bullshit? Hell, you guys are right, we should all have the right to drive around stinking drunk. Somebody should have to die before anyone can check to see if we might be intoxicated. I think your rights end where they infringe upon MY rights. Burn your own damn house down as much as you want, when the sparks start to land on mine then your ass is also mine. I'm right with you if you agree that when your drunk ass hits my car I have the RIGHT to gun you down, there and then.

Matt G said...

Wow. Busy thread. But that's good. This is a discussion worthy of having. Might be nice to tone it down just a tad so people don't get their feelings hurt*, but otherwise, I'm all for it.

theirritablearchitect, you seem to be making some assumptions about me. Let me correct you on some things. First, I'm a citizen, too, and I'm a staunch supporter of all of our rights, and most especially those recognized by the Bill Of Rights. Second, I'm a cop, and I'm one who is proud of the fact that I pull drunk drivers off the road ethically and legally. I know very well that I will save more lives with my DWI arrests than I ever will with my gun. I won't detail the very sad and very grisly scenes that I've observed, which were directly caused by a drunk driver; that's the kind of emotional plea that we see too often from the gun-grabbers and those who similarly wish to incite us to give up our rights out of response to emotion rather than logic.

I WILL say, that today's system is much, much better than it was. And it will get better. Back in the day, a person might or might not have been drunk, and you basically had to just take the cop's opinion for it, without even reference to validated evidence. Now, there are very highly validated tests that let the officer see and testify to actual clues of intoxication. Frankly, I've had to cut folks loose at roadside after being CERTAIN, before the tests, that they were going to go to jail. One swig of beer and answering their cell phone had caused me to strongly suspect that they were drunk... until the tests proved otherwise.

So it's an assault, when I sit an intoxicated person down in a chair or gurney at a hospital, and have an experienced phlebotomist draw his blood with an 18 gauge needle, and then put a band aid over the spot, even with the judge's order to do so? The last guy that I gave a blood draw to (by his videotaped consent, you'll be glad to know) said, " I didn't even feel it, and I HATE needles. I guess that I'm too drunk to feel it." I'm not buying that.
______________________
*"That scenario should be met with one of several different actions that I can think of, and some of it involves your duly earned harm, in one way or another. Statist lout, hope you sleep well with this shit."

Matt G said...

[Continued...]
You want to bring up Kathryn Johnson, about this? Really? So the issue isn't so much that you're unhappy with the cops obtaining evidence of DWI by a non-consensual blood draw, after obtaining a warrant from a judge. The real issue, for you, is the sweeping pervasiveness of unethical policing that you see, am I right? (I don't want to make generalizations about you. I don't know you. I can only go from what little of your writing that I've read. Perhaps you might read a little of my writing, on that very issue.)

Question: if I and all of my fellow cops are dirty, then why do we keep finding that our arrestees are acquitted, periodically? I had a stop thrown out because I had to answer that I couldn't recall if THAT day I had already checked the calibration of a radar unit that had never failed to show calibration on the hundreds of times that I had checked it over the preceding years. I stated truthfully that I didn't know the time that my intoxylizer operator began observing my arrestee after she went to the bathroom, and her breath specimen was thrown out. My co-worker stated truthfully that he had not observed any traffic infractions on a traffic stop made for a broken tail light, which the judge felt was not sufficient for a stop (under brand new case law), and that stop was thrown out.

Yeah, I've dealt with ketoacidosis. I've called ambulances to the scene more than once, to administer treatment to a fragile diabetic. The first time I did it, I was amazed. A little sugar paste in her mouth, and 60 seconds later the driver was alert and asking where in the world she was. She had wrecked out several times before I found her. She had been very close to going comatose. The next time I found it, it was an interesting case, because in fact the driver had been drinking, but not much. He hadn't been watching his sugar. On a hunch, I called out an ambulance, and took a blood sugar reading from this very surly driver. He insisted that he was FINE, and wanted to fight. This guy wasn't right. Something was wrong. We took a NON-CONSENSUAL blood sample from his finger, and found that he had a glucose level of 24. After some sugar (we could only get him up to 75-- he was big), he calmed down, got coherent, complained of a headache, and blew a .03 on my portable breath test device. Not high enough to meet the standards for intoxication, but high enough to confuse the issue. Given the totality of the circumstances, I decided he needed a ride, and called one for him. Another time, I called an ambulance and just had the guy sent to the hospital, and towed his vehicle. I talked the wrecker driver who picked up the driver's car into giving the driver a huge break in his tow fee when he got out of the hospital.

They say that the ketones smell "fruity," but to me they smell like acetone, which no one in their right mind would be swigging. A routine question that we ask early in the investigation for DWI is "Do you have diabetes?" Ketoacidosis is not found in adult-onset Type II diabetes, but rather is found in full-blown Type I diabetes. People who get it know that they have diabetes, because this is an ongoing disease. That first girl that I mentioned above, I asked what prescription medications she was taking, and she muttered that she took insulin. Bingo.

And what about those that are already passed out and can't tell me? Well, they go to the hospital, anyway. Anytime I've got one that can't answer my questions coherently, I check them out with a medic, and most specifically ask for a glucose check.

But you don't want to hear about protocol. You've already said so.

Matt G said...

For what it's worth, I am against checkpoints, and have made this clear to my co-workers. Regardless of the fact that some courts have found them to be constitutional in some circumstances, I believe that DWI/License/Insurance checkpoints are patent violations of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Anonymous said...

"Hey Tam, Tony George here. How's about you bring the Bimmer out to the Brickyard, get likkered up and do a couple of hot laps."

Would I be guilty of a criminal offense? If so, which one? Why?"

Assuming you are the only one on the track, then no crime would be committed as:

1. You are over 21 and legal to consume alcohol.

2. There is no public highway involved (assumes you drank the booze at IMS and did not drive there from SoBro).

3. You have authorization of the owner to be there and he would give consent to any damage you did to his property in your vehicle.

Remember, while in Speedway you have to carry openly as concealed carry is illegal there.

Shootin' Buddy

Robert said...

Just a few more laws, and if hardheads will just get over their "rights" in the name of public safety, and we will have utopia!

Snarkiness aside, most states didn't bother to license and regulate drivers at all before WWII. It hasn't made a bit of difference in safety, just revenue.

I'm firmly convinced, (driving being one of the safest things a person can do, statistically) that the whole drivers ed and licensing, registration, tags, inspection thing could be tossed without any resultant shift in the injury/accident rate. It's ALL BS. Folks drive careful and don't wreck based on that time-tested principle: their own private self interest.

Ever see drunk, horny young people in a Texas dancehall on a Saturday night...dancing in a standing room only crowd? You would THINK that collisions, fights, tangles would be common but instead they are NEVER seen. It's not in a drunk, horny cowboy-hatted 20 year olds self INTEREST to slam into other people. And they don't.

Recognize eternal principals and let people be free.

Doug Watson said...

Anon 12:23,

"Hell, you guys are right, we should all have the right to drive around stinking drunk. Somebody should have to die before anyone can check to see if we might be intoxicated."

I wouldn't go as far as "die" here. But if someone is drunker than Cooter Brown on the Fourth of July, and drives home with out any type of incident where is the harm? Or are we talking about legislating ways to prevent potential harm? Because then....

"I think your rights end where they infringe upon MY rights."

You make my point for me.

BTW, just for the record, if said drunkard so much as gets in a fender bender, I say that it should be a felony. They knowingly, and therefore willingly have caused harm to either someone or someone's property.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, drunks get in fights all the time. It's why bars have bouncers.

You know, covering you with my .45 doesn't cause you any harm. So, let me do that as much as I want. What's the harm?

Matt G said...

"Snarkiness aside, most states didn't bother to license and regulate drivers at all before WWII. It hasn't made a bit of difference in safety, just revenue."

Where are you getting that? Fatality rates per mile driven have gone down markedly since the early '80s, despite more cars on the road than ever.

Accident rates were very high in the '40s and '50', per million miles driven.

Nathan Brindle said...

I find laughable the argument that "they're the State's roads, so the State grants you the privilege (not the right) to drive on them."

Who is the State?

In this country, by the classical definition, WE ARE. And that's what the Ninth Amendment is all about.

And the argument that Tam is suggesting that the Second should be repealed is so much more dreck. What Tam meant (and our anonymous coward is well aware of this) is that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights do not GIVE rights -- they simply PROTECT them by stating unambiguously that they shall not be infringed.

God gave us rights (or nature did, if you don't have a personal belief in God). Constitutions only protect them from infringement. Or at least that's the theory James Madison and crew were operating from.

Anonymous said...

I find it laughable that you all are so busy defending what you deem rights that you don't have any space to consider the responsibility that goes with them. So let Tam pay the legal fees for some irresponsible bastard whose negligence endangered innocents around him. But on the firing range keep you trap shut when some moron is covering you or your buddies, after all it's not wrong until they actually shoot you.

Robert said...

When you have to measure fatalities per 1M miles driven, or even 100K driven...is it worth abridging the Bill of Rights?

By the way, there is zero proven cause and effect between increased regulation and driving safety. For all anyone knows fluoridation of water or rural electrification had as much effect as drivers ed and a state license.

The larger question is that setting up this whole legal artifact to draw blood and coerce citizens into obeying a law...does anyone think this to be logical?...or the terminus of efforts like this? We are far past a point where a free society would have said "enough".

Folks want to argue about the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin....but when that pin is stuck in a citizens vein for an involuntary blood draw....you need to be arguing about something else.

The government...of the people, by the people, for the people....has been gone for a while now.

Tam said...

"Very nice Tam. But the ninth does not grant specific rights, it just indicates that rights exist outside those listed. I guess you could use that argument to say that anything not covered in the constitution or amendment was a "right." Which in all fairness would be consistant with all your other posts. I think you are straining to make your point.

Yeah, I read it. To see if you were indeed stretching that far. It's great to read you advocating repealing the 2nd. Thumbs up.
Since you are obviously not actually reading what is being written, your participation in this discussion is no longer necessary. Any unsigned posts after this one will be summarily deleted, so don't bother tiring your fingers responding.

Tam said...

Now, to return to the discussion amongst the grownups...


Matt, Shootin' Buddy, staghounds,

What I'm objecting to here is the very creepiness underlying the whole procedure.

If I'm thrashing around saying "No, no, don't stick it in me!" and they say "But we have a warrant!", does that make it okay?

Just for a needle I don't want stuck in my arm, or...?

What part of me is sacrosanct and can't be taken away with a judge's signature? How creepy are we willing to get in the name of an efficient and fair legal system?

We have proceeded from roadside sobriety tests to breathalyzers to sticking needles in my arm against my will... Suppose they find that the absolute-no-foolin' most failsafe test involves removing a kidney? I mean, you don't need both, and besides, we've got a warrant...

staghounds said...

Of course the state is its people.

So you're saying that "we", "all of us", built and maintain the roads, yet "we", through the goverments we made and remake every couple of years, have no right to regulate and control how and by whom they are used?

Why stop with the State's roads? If we can't license drivers, what business do we have locking the state treasury up? And the Capitol Building would make a really spectacular bonfire.

Interesting.

Where's your house? I might like some of the furniture, or need a place to stay for a few months.


Sheesh.

I'm not keen on the needle thing, we have a basic right to decide what will be stuck into us and by whom. But sometimes we do something to abandon that right. For example, when we go to the store and start waving a piece of rebar around, that's sort of consent to a hot lead insertion.

It's a pretty fair balance between my right to cut down danger on my trip home and the drinker's right to avoid proof of his guilt.

O, Kali. The captcha word is REDIZE.

William said...

You know what? You are absolutely correct. The Constitution merely protects rights that already existed. Everyone has those rights by virtue of being a living human being. So what about the rights of those humans held without trial at Gitmo?

Anonymous said...

The pirates at Gitmo are Muslim and thus do not drink and have no concerns for alcohol intoxication. Further it is difficult to get an OWI in riding a donkey or camel about.

Removing a kidney is an unreasonable search and seizure. If the cop took your blood with his pocket knife that would likely be unreasonable as well. Unreasonable can be on its face or the method used.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

I was only pointing out if rights are universal, then even those who are not U.S. Citizens have those rights. It's very just and noble to defend against having your blood drawn against your wishes, but some muslim can be locked up forever without a trial, or even after investigation has shown they are not guilty of any crime. Please explain how universal human rights only apply to U.S. citizens.

Vote For David said...

*scoffs* "Unreasonable" is whatever the law says it is. Never forget "the law is an ass" written by liars and thieves who hate you.

William said...

Those hating liars and thieves would include those who wrote the Constitution.

Matt G said...

First, Anon 1:04, are you not even reading what the patrona of this blog is saying? (Such as: "Since you are obviously not actually reading what is being written, your participation in this discussion is no longer necessary.")

(Does anyone else immediately try to think of which book in the Scripture "Anon" is an abbreviation for, when they see "Anon 1:04" in the thread comments?)

I'm emailing some direct, to stop slamming Tam's poor abused blog comments section. (too late!)

theirritablearchitect said...

"For what it's worth, I am against checkpoints,"

Then get your ass squared away with your principles, and quit doing it!

Tam said...

"...quit doing it!"

Doing what?

Being a cop in TX, I don't imagine he participates in a whole lot of checkpoints.

"Checkpoints have not been used since 1994 when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said the roadblocks were unconstitutional because no statewide guidelines existed for their operation."

Also, that's my friend you're talking to.

He agrees with you on most of these issues; you're unlikely to convince him on the rest by calling him names.

Matt G said...

Never have.
Never will.

Where did you get the impression that I did, Mr. I. Architect?

staghounds said...

How can you say that? Name calling is VERY effective among, what, nine year olds?

theirritablearchitect said...

"Where are you getting that? Fatality rates per mile driven have gone down markedly since the early '80s, despite more cars on the road than ever.

Accident rates were very high in the '40s and '50', per million miles driven."

And YOU are attributing THAT to licensure of drivers, or more rigorous alcohol intoxication laws?

You are way off base here, I suggest you quit the digging of your own hole.

theirritablearchitect said...

"Those hating liars and thieves would include those who wrote the Constitution."

You are starting to get it now.

Keep up the effort for a while longer, please, and you will start to see what some others here already know...that document does NOTHING more than ONE THING, authorize the institution of government.

Get your head around that, please.

theirritablearchitect said...

"He agrees with you on most of these issues; you're unlikely to convince him on the rest by calling him names."

Names? When? Lout, from earlier. That's fair, I suppose.

It's good that Matt agrees with me, and it's even better that TX doesn't allow checkpoints, but not being a frequent traveler to the "Whole Other Country," I was completely ignorant of the situation. My fault.

Regardless of that, my position still stands, as it's quite common elsewhere, and simply rampant 'round my parts.

Rick C said...

Matt G, what do you say to the assertion in the Observer that there is a bill on the table to allow magistrates to sign a probably-cause warrant?

Robert said...

In case we need some REAL name calling:

Why you pickle-backed, swarthy-loafered, satched-assed, shade-tree, ruminating foil of a dog's breathed, bullock-butted, tragically offalled fractal of inebriated carrion.

Just saying.

Anonymous said...

MattG could you bring some light on how many times the average drunk driver is a "customer" before the case is taken to a grand jury and real punishment is meted out if found guilty at district court?

phlegmfatale said...

I have a couple hair-curling stories of my own about the big D po-po.
I'm so glad I got the hell out of there.

Yeah, since moving to the country 5 weeks ago I found the house I rented in Small Town occupied by squatters, my puppy got bitten by a rattlesnake, I landed a withering case of pneumonia and tonight I sliced a knuckle open with a very pretty knife, and it's SUCH an improvement from living in Dallas.

Frankly, the neighbors are better - I'll take my chances with the rattlesnakes.

*harumph*

Matt G said...

On average? I don't know. I've arrested one fellow (which my good friend LawDog as also seen arrested in his area several times) who had been tried 4 times for DWI before I ever met him. And 4 times he had been acquitted. LawDog assures me that he's been arrested for DWI many more times than that, but his superb attorneys that got him out of the ones that went to trial seem to have assisted him in even getting the record of the arrest removed. Nice.

After my case went to trial, he now has a conviction for DWI, a class B misdemeanor. For a guy who owns a large company and employs a slew of attorneys, this is not a big deal. But how many times was he arrested in different counties before he came to my county, where we managed to get the right mix of good investigation, good report, and good DA, before we finally got that one conviction? I speak not of an amorphous person-- I can still remember his first, middle, and last name, and the nickname everyone in his home county knew him by.

I arrested another guy who was drunk and driving around on a clear and valid license that had 12 arrests, and four convictions! He had a felony conviction, but was on probation. He got a couple of weeks in jail, and a longer probation.

staghounds said...

FWIW, people in this county are generally convicted- we have well trained officers who bring good cases, and we don't reduce them- plea or trial.

And we don't do rides home, if you're caught, you're charged. (Except for one small jurisdiction, which has I think never found a DUI. )

And for what my opinion is worth, first offense punishment is plenty severe for first timers, about $1000 in fines and costs, hugely expensive insurance, and trash pickup.

Second offense is 45 days of jail or 17/28 lockup and inpatient rehab.

Third offense, 120 days.

We get very few two time only offenders. The penalty hurts most first timers enough that they don't come back, so two timers are generally the ones who will never get it.

TOTWTYTR said...

theirritable and incorrect architect is wrong about diabetics and ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is associated with HYPERglycemia, what police officers and paramedics see in the field far more often is HYPOglycemia.

While mild hyperglycemia may produce such and odor, it's not going to produce the kind of altered mental status that makes police officers suspect DWI. On the other hand, HYPOglycemia, while not producing the alcohol like odor, often DOES produce altered mental status of the type that makes officers suspect DWI.

Sort of undermines your whole thesis about the alcohol like odor, doesn't it?

With any luck, I'll never be in a building designed by you. If you confuse something this common, I can only shudder to think that you might mistake a floor for a window or something.