YOU ARE BEING THREATENED BY THE DA
The Nueces County District Attorney just threatened YOU in public fashion. The threat? You will be forcibly strapped down or held down by numerous cops, followed by having a “qualified” person forcibly jam a needle in your arm while you struggle, drawing as much blood as law enforcement believes they need. If you don’t volunteer to go to the table, you could be thrown to the floor and dragged there. The DA is even paying for the needle going into your body.
The condition you must meet to get this treatment is having a cop decide to arrest you for a MISDEMEANOR Driving While Intoxicated with NO VICTIM in Corpus Christi, Texas. That’s right. Get pulled over for a bad taillamp while driving perfectly, the officer claims he smells alcohol on you, and that’s enough, even if you refuse to do any “tests”.
WATCH IT – DON’T TURN AWAY – WATCH IT
Click here to see what a forcible blood draw looks like, just so you’ll know. Watch it. Seriously. Don’t continue reading until you watch the video.
“IMPARTIAL” JUDGES WILL BE ON HAND
Just for good measure, a “impartial” judge will be on call to sign a search warrant to extract your blood, no matter what force it takes to get it. Rest assured, no application for a warrant will be denied by that judge. In fact, it’s quite possible the “impartial” judge present when you are arrested is NOT a lawyer and has NEVER denied a cop’s request for a warrant. That “impartial” judge may have even volunteered to spend an unpaid shift or two at the detention center solely to be available to sign the warrants requested on the spot. Your Constitutional right to an impartial magistrate standing between you to protect your legal rights against overzealous, unchecked cops appears threadbare at this juncture.
If you are unlucky enough to be arrested for DWI in Corpus Christi this weekend, you can expect to have your blood drawn, no matter how much force it takes. Corpus Christi and Nueces County are far from unusual for using forced blood draws. Many cities throughout America are doing so. Extreme tactics are often tolerated because of the outrage of the societal problem. We need a better way to fight the problem. Tactics which dehumanize and devalue people’s dignity must be avoided.
DRUNK DRIVING KILLS PEOPLE
Too many people die in alcohol-induced automobile crashes; it simply shouldn’t happen. Everyone knows drunk driving is a real problem, a deadly problem, one society must tackle sensibly. Even criminal defense attorneys agree with the proposition drunk driving is a problem. Prosecution on a mass scale does not effectively address the problem, and tactics like forced blood draws are a brash symptom of an out-of-control force used by law enforcement.
EVEN “GOOD COPS” DRINK AND DRIVE WHEN THEY SHOULDN’T
A few months ago, venerable Corpus Christi Police Chief Floyd Simpson died after laying down his motorcycle to avoid a possible collision. Recent news (albeit underreported) indicates he had a blood-alcohol level of .078 at the time of his death, a tiny sliver below the definition of intoxication: .080.
Extrapolation of the test results could easily make the case the Chief had either been driving while intoxicated or was going to be legally intoxicated in mere minutes; regardless, he had evidently been drinking enough to make a plausible DWI case against him.
Surely, had he survived, there likely would have been enough legal justification to issue a warrant for a blood draw at the time of his hypothetical arrest. Would his fellow cops and an “impartial” judge have been willing to subject the beloved Chief to the indignity of a forcible blood draw like in the video? It’s hard to imagine.
ROUTINE FORCED BLOOD DRAWS DO NOT MAKE US SAFER AND ARE REPUGNANT
The roads are not going to be safer because nine cops hold you down during a forced blood draw, just so they could have a better chance at a misdemeanor conviction in 6 to 12 months. Those same cops could be on the roads patrolling, instead.
Forcible blood draws are ugly and repugnant to our concepts of liberty, justice, and the sanctity of the individual. Only the most compelling of circumstances could possibly justify them. This weekend’s plan by the DA is not a measured response and should not continue. American standards regarding the sanctity of and respect for the individual should be enough to stop forced blood draws for misdemeanor suspects.
An entirely different conversation needs to occur regarding the danger of drunk driving. Allowing it to devolve into the shameful practice of forcible blood draws undermines individual dignity while doing nothing substantive to address the danger of drunk driving.