Persecution Pantomime is now an established part of what is styled “law enforcement” in the United States.
This includes such theater as marching a dog around a vehicle to confect probable cause to search it when it is otherwise absent. The motorist cannot refuse to watch this show – and if the dog “alerts” (i.e., it raises a paw, spins in a circle or whines or cocks its head or some other clearly objective evidence that you have arbitrarily illegal drugs in your vehicle) this provides the armed government workers with the legalized pretext to tear apart your car.
Many people don’t realize that the physical jerks – as Orwell put it – and the roadside breath test are administered to establish prima facie evidence of drunk driving – to justify the arrest and to take the person into the custody where they are then “asked” (under duress) to take another test – breath or blood – using much more accurate equipment.
This is generally the evidence that winds up being used in court.
The catch – in most states – is that refusal to perform gymnastics or take the (notoriously inaccurate) roadside breath test will usually result in not just your arrest but also automatic suspension of your license for refusing to provide evidence against yourself even if you are not convicted of DWI.
If, however, you are certain you are not “drunk” – haven’t been drinking or only drank a small amount – it can be wise to refuse to take the inaccurate roadside test and accept arrest, in order to at least have the more accurate evidence of the breath/blood test they’ll take at the jail used against you… or not.
If the second test comes up negative – i.e., your BAC is nil or below the legal threshold – then you will probably not be convicted of DWI and that will save you a world of grief (and money) even if the court doesn’t rescind the suspension for not taking the roadside test.
But if you did take it – and the AGW claims it showed you had (as an example) a BAC of .11 at the time of your arrest, that will doom you, probably – even if the later, more accurate test came back with a BAC well below the limit. The prosecutor will say you “cheated” the system by delaying tactics – by the time you took the second test, you’d “sobered up.” The judge will agree, as judges are very PC and do not want to appear “soft” on “dangerous drunks.”
It is going to get worse, by the way – because (ironically) of the legalization of pot. It will now be assumed that everyone is “high” as well as presumptively “drunk” – and it will be our obligation to prove we are not.
But unlike alcohol, THC cannot be detected – reliably or otherwise – using a breath test of any kind and it remains in the body for a long time. Long after the “high” is gone. This presents a number of possibilities – or rather, worries.
The first is that in addition to effectively forcing people to undergo notoriously inaccurate roadside breath tests using the threat of immediate arrest as the prod, drivers will shortly be forced to submit to roadside blood draws to test for THC on the same basis. You won’t have the option to say no to this, either. At least, not without automatically losing your license as well as being immediately arrested.
The precedent for forced blood draws has already been established in law; in fact, more than half the states already practice this ghoulish routine – which the courts have ruled does not violate the Fourth Amendment because drivers have given their “implied consent” to such things . . . by driving.
By applying for a driver’s license – which the government forces you to possess in order to legally exercise your former right to travel freely – the government says you’ve agreed to forfeit your other rights, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches.
The whole point of the Fourth Amendment, of course, was to make it inconvenient for the government to persecute people by obliging the government to refrain from persecuting people who had not given it evidence they’d committed a crime. It was the burden of the government to establish guilt – without the forced “cooperation” of the targeted person.
It was once generally believed that forcing people to give evidence against themselves was tyrannical.
Now it is considered “necessary and proper” – another bit of deliberately vague verbiage taken from the Constitution, which was written by lawyers for lawyers, in order to be parsed by lawyers – to our general disadvantage.
A government that can threaten you to give evidence, can force you to give evidence, is a medieval government.
Some, of course, agree with the doctrine of “implied consent” and “exigent circumstances” – because they are willing to take away any legal obstacles that might facilitate a “drunk” (or “high”) driver “getting away” with it.
This brings to mind a line from Robert Bolt’s play, A Man for all Seasons – and the subsequent film (1966). It is about King Henry VIII’s chancellor – and friend – Sir Thomas More, who ends up losing both Henry’s friendship and his head, because he declined to aid in his own persecution. There are many great dialogues in the play – and film – but one stands out that is relevant to 2019 and our times.
More is debating legal protections with his son-in-law, Roper – who advocates using whatever means necessary to apprehend the guilty. The dialogue runs as follows:
Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law?
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And, when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast – man’s laws, not God’s – and, if you cut them down – and you’re just the man to do it – d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.
More, of course, lost that argument – along with his head.
And so, now, have we.
. . .
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