Blood Test Check Points

I was in Houston the other day and they were talking about "no-refusal" weekends on the radio.  I had no idea what this was so I had to look it up.  Apparently, the police are setting up the usual extra-Constitutional DWI checkpoints.  If at these checkpoints you refuse the breathalyzer tests, they now are set up on site with a nurse, a notary, and a fax to a judge's office to obtain a warrant right in the field to take your blood.

I found this astounding but the local media seems to treat it as unexceptional, and it was almost impossible to find any real news stories about it that were not just rah rah support your local police.  The best resource seems to be attorney web sites.


  1. elliotdiafono:

    Back in 1992, Billy Beck told a cop who was impounding his vehicle that the blood tests (which the officer mentioned happened in Germany) would make it here to the US eventually.

  2. PapaMAS:

    That's amazing! Am i right in understanding this? They set up roadblocks and check everyone; if you refuse, they forcibly draw your blood? I can hear some people saying, "Well, if you're innocent, you have nothing to worry about." True, except for that whole innocent until proven guilty thing.

    I think everyone should just avoid Houston.

  3. KevinM:

    I'm from Houston and we didn't get to vote on this. Fascists.

  4. marque2:

    I don't know what we can do. We have groups like MADD which are lauded, but really promote an overzealously nanny state. Please did their big reform, changing the alcohol level from .1 to .08 really stop anything, drunk drivers pulled over are usually 2 - 3 times the limit. Of course with these stops now marinal cases can bring in revenue for the police and power to the judiciary without really making anyone safer. Just catching a few marginal cases where folks left the bar 10 minutes too early.

  5. marque2:

    What can you do to stop this? If I refused then they would do the warrent. If I told them the warrent was illegal because it wasn't based on any probably cause they would throw me in jail, and make up stories how I was staggering and drunk even though I was sober.

  6. Russ R.:

    In Canada (where I live) refusal to take a breathalyzer test is itself a crime, with penalties identical to those for impaired driving.

    The only limitation on power is that an officer may only order a breathalyzer AFTER completing a roadside sobriety evaluation (normally video taped) and on having reasonable grounds to believe, based on the evaluation, that the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.

    That doesn't sound like much protection, but if the breathalyzer comes back negative, the officer is put in the awkward and embarrassing position of having to explain why his/her evaluation of impairment was inaccurate. So, while roadside checks are common, roadside evaluations and breathalyzer tests are much less frequent.

  7. Broccoli:

    Houston is just a hotbed of abuse of civil liberties. It is a crime punishable with a $500 fine to feed the homeless for example. Don't forget the police who vaginally searched some women during a routine traffic stop and the video showed absolutely zero probably cause. But hey, please re-elect Anise Parker, she checks a certain box that Blue team absolutely goes gaga for.

  8. bigmaq1980:

    "No thank you, officer"

    The link is a must read. The lawyer explains that once you are asked to get out of your car, the officer has already concluded that you are intoxicated, and is merely looking to bolster their case. You are almost certainly, then, headed to the police station, as you will not "pass" the tests they administer.

    Thus, he says, you "can beat the rap, but not the ride". No need to volunteer for all the rest of the stuff.

    Cops have a tough job dealing with many low-lifes, but there are enough (even those considered "good" ones) who are willing to overstep their boundaries.

    Unfortunately, we can't count on encountering the better officers every time.

  9. Undisclosed:

    If the blood tests are being performed under warrant I'm not sure what this actually changes except to expedite an existing process. Maybe someone can clarify it for me, or is the take-home that this is exacerbating a problem we should have been taking a stand against to begin with?

  10. irandom419:

    If only they cared that much about getting permits.

  11. roadgeek:

    It's done all over Texas. I live in Austin, and the weekends in which it's done are expanding, usually involving holidays. I keep waiting to get called for jury duty so I can nullify but it never happens.

  12. 2012 Consciousness Shift Resou:

    There may be much more to DWI/DNA check-points than most are willing to consider. What are they really looking for?;