Friday, September 3, 2010

I'll have an extra slice of garlic bread, please

It's time to get your survival kits together for the Labor Day Weekend. If you're in the Houston area you are going to need:

  1. Garlic;
  2. Salt;
  3. Hawthorn branches;
  4. A cross;
  5. Iron stakes;
  6. Silver bullets; and
  7. Boiling water.

That's right. It's another No Refusal Weekend (otherwise known as a Rip up the Constitution and Throw it in the Trash Weekend) in the Bayou City.

According to a press release:
In the "No Refusal" program, law enforcement patrols, testing units and prosecutors team up to get search warrants for blood samples from intoxicated motorists who refuse to voluntarily provide them.
Of course, as we all know by now, they left someone off the list of who's teaming up this weekend -- the judges. The operation just doesn't work if you don't have enough people who are willing to disregard the Bill of Rights.
“It’s clear that too many people still don’t understand that impaired driving is no accident — nor is it a victimless crime.” -- Chief Deputy Phil Sandlin, Precinct 8 Constable’s Office.
Someone might also want to take a copy of the Texas Penal Code to Deputy Sandlin. Driving while impaired is not an offense in the State of Texas. It is against the law to drive if you have lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties or if you have an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher at the time of driving.
“So our message to motorists is simple and unwavering: if you get caught driving while impaired, you will be arrested. No exceptions.” -- Phil Sandlin
Should a motorist be asked to blow into the breath test machine and refuse, the arresting officer will fill out a warrant application (typically a "check the box" and fill-in-the-blank form) and fax it to the judge who will "review" it before signing it. Not to make too fine a point here, but in order to ask a motorist to blow into the breath test machine, the motorist must already be under arrest. That's right, the alleged drunk driver is under arrest before anyone can ask him to blow into the machine. The breath test (or blood test) is completely irrelevant to the decision of the officer to place the driver under arrest.

In other words, we're making a mockery of the Constitution to coerce someone to provide incriminating evidence against himself after he's already been arrested.

1 comment:

Will Freeman said...

"Should a motorist be asked to blow into the breath test machine and refuse, the arresting officer will fill out a warrant application (typically a "check the box" and fill-in-the-blank form) and fax it to the judge who will "review" it before signing it."

This is 100% inaccurate. A warrant in Harris county on no refusal weekends is drafted by a prosecutor based upon factors of intoxication stated by the officer. Once the warrant is complete, then a judge looks at it and either signs it or not. And contrary to your belief, this prosecutor in particular has actually had judges REFUSE to sign blood warrants based upon one thing or another. In other words, no rubber stamp exists at all, and I am sure most judges would be insulted by the insinuation that a rubber stamp exists at all.