North Texas Drivers Stopped at Roadblock Asked for Saliva, Blood


From KXAS (NBC Dallas Ft Worth)

Some drivers along a busy Fort Worth street on Friday were stopped at a police roadblock and directed into a parking lot, where they were asked by federal contractors for samples of their breath, saliva and even blood.

It was part of a government research study aimed at determining the number of drunken or drug-impaired drivers.

“It just doesn’t seem right that you can be forced off the road when you’re not doing anything wrong,” said Kim Cope, who said she was on her lunch break when she was forced to pull over at the roadblock on Beach Street in North Fort Worth.

Pretty messed up. “Voluntary”


What are you complaining about? Never forget that driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right.
Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely common in the US today, it is of plague proportions; and, the situation gets worse year by year. Why do you think automobile insurance rates are so high?
FWIW, the Commonwealth of Virginia has conducted such random tests since at least the 1970’s. It’s “blow into the balloon” and, if one refuses they lose their license for 6 months. Repeated DUI offenses can result in loss of ones drivers license for life! This, plus a strict automobile inspection twice a year has resulted in some of the lowest car insurance in the US…not to say having saved countless lives.


And I suppose that they have the right to tap your phone calls or emails because there might be some illegal activity going on there, as well?

Friend, I just checked…and the 4th Amendment to the Constitution has not been repealed yet.The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and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.
While you are right that police can have a DUI checkpoint, this was not a DUI checkpoint. While you are right that driving is a privilege, they do not have the right to search your person (blood, breath, saliva) unless you have given them reason to suspect that you are under the influence (i.e., probable cause). Even in Virginia (I’ve dealt with Virginia checkpoints before and have been stopped. They asked to see my D/L and then wished me a good evening and safe drive).

I suppose you also don’t have a problem with TSA VIPR Teams checking people on the Metro, in train stations, or highways? How about as a pedestrian? (After all, walking on a sidewalk is a privilege, not a right. Do you know that each and every terrorist in the world has been a pedestrian at one point in time or another??? Hmmmmm??? Do you know how many lives they’ve saved???)



Sounds slightly illegal (sarcasm) to me. If this is not LE conducting the action with proper authorization or PC, then it is voluntary and a person can refuse. Very simple.


The 4th amendment doesn’t matter in post-Constitutional America


Big Brother is always watching…


Well, there is that.


Sadly the average American believes that they have to do just about anything a policeman tells them to do. Here’s some very sound advice from a Louisiana Attorney regarding talking to the police


Just noticed this bit:

Fort Worth police earlier said they could not immediately find any record of officer involvement but police spokesman Sgt. Kelly Peel said Tuesday that the department’s Traffic Division coordinated with the NHTSA on the use of off-duty officers after the agency asked for help with the survey.

Sounds to me like they got real, but off-duty cops to divert traffic to the contractors trying to get drivers to submit to “voluntary” DNA tests. I suspect most people, once they’ve been signaled “pull over there” is not going to assume that what follows is voluntary and would reasonably assume they are talking to a LEO.

Btw, for the folks who did the Breathalyzer rather than blood or cheek swab, I bet they can get DNA from the saliva left on the little plastic doohickey you blow into.


To my knowledge research ethics requires that participants give free, informed and voluntary consent. If there was any question of force/intimidation, then the researchers should be in a whole heap of trouble.


There was just a thread here earlier about truckers throwing bottles of their urine out the window as they drove along so they don’t have to stop so often. Maybe they can turn these bottles over to the inspectors instead of tossing them out for others to clean up. Then the inspectors can have their samples, and we can have clean roadsides. Win-win solution. :slight_smile:


Seriously though, if I have to accept NAFTA, I say yes to any and all inspections to keep our roads safe. Driving here is still a privilege, not a right, last time I checked.


They were asked if they would take the test. They weren’t told they HAD TO. If some felt they were “ordered” to, then it was a question of miscommunication. But such an action, if it was an ordered, would be against the law. :rolleyes:


The onus is on the researchers or their assistants to ENSURE there is no miscommunication. That is the ethical standard.


I fully agree. :wink:


Driving being a privilege isnt in question. The right against illegal search and seizure is what’s in question.


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