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Saturday, November 21, 2009

State Bloodsuckers

This story is interesting.

Police in Idaho and a few other states now have the authority to forcibly draw blood from suspected drunk drivers, if the driver refuses a breath test.

There's an interesting legal loophole around "You need a search warrant first." There's an on-call judge. The policeman phones in, and gets an immediate search warrant. The judge rubberstamp approves all requests.

Drunk driving is a real crime. However, police forcibly drawing blood is a bit severe. There are other ways to enforce compliance, such as "The suspected drunk driver loses his driver's license for refusing to take a breath test." Also, you can tell if someone is drunk. All the breath test allows is concrete evidence, rather than "The word of the driver against the word of the policeman."

The problem is that the State police have a monopoly. If they misbehave, there's no recourse.

I'm not defending the rights of a drunk driver. Drunk driving is a serious crime. A drunk driver risks injuring someone else due to his incompetence. The State punishment for drunk driving actually usually is too low.

If there was an explicit consent "You agree to the blood test in exchange for your license and car insurance." or "As terms of your car insurance, you agree to a breath test whenever asked.", then it would be valid. However, the State has a monopoly. If you don't like it, you're SOL.

In a really free market, drivers would agree to not drive drunk. Otherwise, they wouldn't get insurance and they wouldn't be allowed by whoever owned the road. Breaking that contract would probably have a more severe penalty than the State charges drunk drivers.

It's a bad precedent. Now, the State police forcibly draw blood from a drunk driver. Later, the State police will forcibly draw blood from everyone.

This policy makes the State policeman a literal bloodsucker!


gilliganscorner said...

Is drunk driving the crime if no one was injured?

Shouldn't an individual be held accountable for injuring another no matter what he/she willingly ingests, knowing it will impair their judgment?

I don't think drunk driving is the crime itself if you cannot produce a victim. Don't get me wrong, I don't condone it.

Another example, if I get into a car drunk and injure someone and it is determined I must restore equity to the injured party of $100K, should pay more or less than that if I were drunk?

Anonymous said...

"Drunk driving is a real crime." -

That, is a stupid thing to proclaim, FSK.

Do, tell me, what is my real crime, if I drove drunk from LA to SF and did not hit anyone?

You must have the harm, to have a crime. Where is the harm?

Secondly, if you dare to allege that it is no longer a harm, that constitutes a crime, but merely a chance of harm, then I ask you: can FSK guarantee that he will not ever make a mistake and collide with someone on the highway, with result being that someone's death?

Can you promise me that? Zero chance for the accident? Hm? No? So, then you are committing a real crime by driving, FSK! Your very presence on the road introduces a chance that someone will die.

Now, the rules. Who told you that the state owns the roads? Where does it come from, that we must obey whatever the state decides to make a rule, or we can not use highways? Does the state possess some "natural right" to roads? Where does this monopoly comes from?

If you happen to think that it is in your interest to surrender your own freedom to travel to the state, that's fine, and you should be subjected to the rules laid out by the state, but what gives you a right to also give up my freedom to travel to the state?

Here is the same error as with Voting on property: One can not rightfully vote on the property he has no rights to. But, we do, all the time! Same with surrendering one's rights, versus surrendering someone else rights!

theftthroughinflation said...

Drunk driving laws are pure emotional BS put in place at the urging of lobby groups like MADD! I love the hypocracy, apparently drunk drivers don't have the judgement to drive safely...but these same individuals who lack that kind of judgement are still able to judge that they are too impaired to drive? How does that make sense?
On one of their writers made a very good point. He argues that state enforcement of anti-drunk driving laws intensifies the danger caused by drunk driving. If drunk driving wete "legal" drunks could close down to a speed that was safer and use their 4 way flashers to advise everyone to be alert. Today that kind of behavoir will arouse police attention and quickly get you pulled over and busted! The incentive is to drive at the speed limit and try to fake being sober, therefore driving at higher speeds than an impaired invididual might be capable.
As gilliganscorner mentioned there are plenty of ways that drivers can be reckless and injure others, most accidents that occur are not fueled by alcohol.
Drunk driving enforcement is part of the "problem reaction solution" but does not solve real problems!

Anonymous said...

nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

You can't deprive me of blood until you convict me first. My blood is my property.

But that's playing by their rules anyway.

Chrono said...

Every obligation needs to have a benefit. If insurance companies require a breath / blood test to be insured, -- obligation -- then they also have to compensate by offering lower insurance premiums to whomever agrees -- benefit --.

There is no such thing as 'rights for drunk drivers' just like there is no such thing as 'human rights' there is only the non-aggression principle (which you are well aware of, FSK, none of this is new).

A person suspected of a DUI (driving under the influence) is not actually harming anyone, he is risking harm. Therefore any action taken against him needs to be agreed to by him - the person - in advance, otherwise the police are aggressing against him. This is 'fine' if he agrees to it (as said above) but it is standard state-sponsored bullying, otherwise, and the only reason a DUI suspect would comply to begin with, is because he knows the police are armed, which makes him a hostage.

Until the driver has an accident, the police are enforcing a victimless crime.

Theftthroughinflation is correct, DUI suspects have to 'fake it' and drive the speed limit, where they could drive more slowly with flashers on to warn other drivers. However, the person could still fall asleep and run off the road, this is not a solution by any means.

What it is, is evidence that police bullying affects people's actions in the situation. This means that the results will change if you take the bullying away. There are multiple reasons why people do not drink at home. One of them is because it is illegal to make alcohol at home, in most states. You have to have a 'liquor license' (permission from the state) to sell alcohol in most places.

This is another place state bullying changes the situation. Both of these changes would reduce the number of accidents. Would this solve the problem? Maybe. It might not be possible anywhere, ever, to completely eliminate crime, but the important thing is to consistently apply universal principles.

So obligations must be matched with benefits, and violence must never be initiated except in self-defense. Pulling over a DUI suspect is a preemptive strike. It is only valid if the person agrees ahead of time. Furthermore, if roads are private, anyone who does not agree to this can be restricted from traveling these roads. That is a third way the state distorts the situation. In my opinion, you could do some refining to your ideas on this topic.

Matt said...

“If there was an explicit consent "You agree to the blood test in exchange for your license and car insurance." or "As terms of your car insurance, you agree to a breath test whenever asked.", then it would be valid.”

There is that explicit consent, at least in Florida. My driver's license says in very legible print right on the front under my signature: "Operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law." Granted, I don't have much choice but to enter into that contract with the state, since I can't live without access to the state's road system. My friend signs his driver's license "Under Duress" to nullify that contract.

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