Friday, July 1, 2011

Celebrating the Fourth (of July) by gutting the Fourth (Amendment)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. -- Declaration of Independence
What better way to celebrate the anniversary of one of the most important documents in American history than to institute a statewide No Refusal Weekend for the Fourth of July?
Anyone who is pulled over for suspected drunk driving will have to either submit to a breath test or have their blood drawn. Officials say it takes as little as 15 minutes to secure a warrant for a blood draw and five minutes after that to get the blood drawn.
Fifteen minutes to eviscerate the rights of the accused. Just fifteen minutes to determine whether or not probable cause exists to open a vein. Just fifteen minutes to order an invasive procedure for an offense that is but one step removed from a traffic ticket.

We can celebrate the Fourth by pretending that our Fourth Amendment right to be left alone doesn't exist. We all know there's no such thing as an unreasonable seizure when a man wearing a badge smells alcohol on the breath of someone driving a car.

We can celebrate the Fourth by pretending that our Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent and not to incriminate ourselves doesn't exist. DWI is the only offense in which a person choosing to remain silent and not incriminate themselves is legally used against them.

We can celebrate the Fourth by pretending that the right to counsel under both the Fifth and Sixth Amendments doesn't exist. Heaven forbid a person accused of drunk driving be allowed to consult with an attorney before answering any questions or performing roadside coordination exercises.

However you choose to celebrate the Fourth, be careful, be safe and don't become a victim of the police state.

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