DUI & THE CONSTITUTION When the State Demands Your Blood
by Robert Hayes
I'm a citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I would like to make a report to other citizens so you are not victimized like me and my family have been victimized by this Nazi state.
On 17 June 2009, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took away my drivers license for 14 months because I "refused" to give them blood. This may sound overly-dramatic or polemic, but here is a summary of what happened, and what is continuing to happen to thousands of others who will be too scared or embarrassed to make a report such as this one.
In March of last year, I accidentally made a left-hand turn onto Lancaster Avenue because I could not see the "NO LEFT TURN" sign that was posted 8 feet above the road. I actually went back and measured and photographed the sign and it was 8 feet above the road and almost impossible to see from the windshield of a normal vehicle.
As if he were sitting there waiting for someone to fall into this trap, a police officer was immediately on my tail. He pulled me over -- and because I had just come out of the parking lot of the PADDOCK bar and grill -- he probably assumed I had been drinking; and I had, but I had had no more than the legal amount of alcohol per hour (unfortunately on an empty stomach), as recommended by "Alcohol Impairment Chart" issued by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Isn't this a form of profiling? Assuming that anyone that comes out of a bar is a drunk is similar to considering that anyone that looks Mexican in Arizona is an illegal.
Nevertheless, whether he was profiling or not, he was felt "justified" in stopping me and "asking for my papers," having caught me in his "no left turn" trap. When I answered honestly to a personal question the state has no right to ask a citizen (have you been drinking?), he felt further "justified" asking/telling me to get out of the car and walk a straight line. Since, drunk or sober, almost no one can walk the straight line test, especially people who have fear of heights, almost everyone "fails" this test, but nevertheless "failing" this test gives the state-authorized Gestapo the "right" to further invade the citizen's privacy.
As a supposedly innocent-until-proven-guilty citizen, I was then asked (are they really "asking") to give some biology so the state would have potentially incriminating evidence with which to fine, imprison and/or otherwise punish me. Note, the state is not asking you to give them your breath or urine to EXONERATE you, they are demanding this biology in order "prove" you guilty; in order to substantiate an officer's "hunch" that you have been correctly profiled as a "no left-turn criminal" and a "drunk" operating a motor vehicle with an arbitrarily high blood-alcohol content (BAC).
But when the cop demanded my breath or urine, I told him that the state had no right to invade my privacy by asking/demanding me to give them the most personal property a human can have, his or her biology. When I told the cop this, he immediately threatened me with fines and imprisonment if I didn't comply with the PA state "law." I told him the PA state "law" was no law at all because it violated the U.S. Constitution, that a citizen is to be secure in his possessions and that a citizen has the right to withhold evidence that is potentially incriminating. And since the state has classified DUI as criminal offenses, the citizen has the right to withhold any evidence that could be used against him -- as I will later discuss, having confirmed this with legal counsel.
When the cop heard this -- a citizen defying tyrannical and unconstitutional "laws" passed by rogue congressmen that have somehow been elected by an electorate asleep at the switch -- he immediately threw hand cuffs on me and put me into his police car. He then drove me to Paoli Hospital where nurse Ratchet was waiting with a hypodermic needle. When I refused to give nurse Ratchet my blood, she huffed, and turned to the officer and stated: "a Refusal."
A "Refusal" -- that's what you're called if you "refuse" to go along with the tyranny of the state under the current DUI laws, laws that even the founder of MADD MOTHERS has acknowledged have gone too far. But more on that later.
So the cop threw me into a jail cell but told me that he would let me go if I gave them fingerprints and mug shots. Did I have any choice.
Are DUI Laws Constitutional?
The next week, as mentioned, I called an attorney to discuss this matter. I didn't call one of the 15 lawyers that immediately sent me promotional letters to "handle" my DUI because I knew I would never get any impartial "advice" from a lawyer that made his livelihood by "helping" citizens get through the maze of legal nightmares that could only have been devised by irresponsible and ignorant congressmen propitiating to special interest (MADD) victims. And the fact that these "representatives" have written or allowed these ineffectual draconian laws to remain on the books, should be a clarion call to citizens to vote all incumbents out of office until the laws are changed to align with precepts in the Constitution and the rights of citizens.
So here's what my out-of-state lawyer associate said. He told me that DUI was classified as a crime and therefore, under the protocols of criminal law, a defendant is not only allowed, but expected, to withhold evidence that could be incriminating, i.e. used against him by the state. In other words, you have a right to NOT testify against yourself. Under civil law however, any evidence a citizen withholds that is potentially exonerating, if withheld, MAY be used as incriminating evidence by the state. The problem is, as far as DUI is concerned, the state wants its cake an eat it too. The state asks the citizen to give blood on the pretense it will exonerate him from DUI, however the state then uses this evidence to incriminate the citizen. So, in the criminal setting of DUI, the state forces the citizen, under threat of fine and imprisonment, to give them potentially incriminating evidence. This is inconsistent with the constitutional right to not testify against oneself AND it's an invasion of privacy at the highest level when the state demands blood, or any other biology, from the citizen under threat of fine, imprisonment and/or loss of license.
Consequences of Refusing the State:
My DUI attorney told me that my fines and other punishments were much higher than if I had had a very high BAC. In other words, if I had had a BAC of say .15 or higher, I would have lost my drivers license for no more than 3 to 6 months. The fact that the state took my drivers license away for a total of 14 months (12 from the state and 2 from the locals) shows that the state is much more interested in punishing its citizens for REFUSING to obey unconstitutional laws than it is in actually punishing drunk drivers. So if you disobey the state, hurting no one, YOU are more of a "criminal" than the drunk driver who wanders the roads with a BAC of over .15.
Thus when a citizen REFUSES to allow the state to have its tyrannical way, the state, more than ever, throws the book at the citizen, as it did with me. Here's exactly what they did to me, from my records:
1. 5 COAD divers classes $225 (2 hrs each)
2. 10 Pathway group therapy sessions $350 (1 hr each)
3. Legal fees to "represent" me $1,490.30
4. Fine paid to Adult Probation $1,119.50
5. Pendot renewal fee $25
6. Probation with monthly reports for 6 months
7. Loss of drivers license 14 months (12 from state gov, 2 from local gov)
8. 100 hours of community service
Total Cost: $3,209.80
Total Hours: 100 + 10 + 10 = 120 hours
Total Driving Time: about 35 hours
All this for taking an illegal left hand turn and refusing to give the state blood. Imagine, this is happening to thousands of people right now and has happened to probably millions since the mid 1980s. And some states are even more draconian than Nazi Pennsylvania. Costs for DUI can be as high as $12,000 in Florida and $20,000 in the most senior nanny-police state of all, California.
But here's the real loss incurred by the tyrannical state and its multi-million dollar cottage industry of DUI. The cruel and unusual punishment of taking a citizen's RIGHT to drive away for 14 months because he or she won't comply with the state's unconstitutional invasion of privacy to demand blood, actually victimizes the citizen's family, friends and associates as much, or more than the citizen.
DUI Laws Effects on Society:
In my case, I used to have a sweet and loving relationship with my wife. But now that my wife is forced by the state to drive me everywhere for 14 months, the duress is making her snippety, angry and intolerant. We have NEVER in 20 years had as many quarrels as we have been having during the state's punishment of me. Actually, I'm not being punished at all, I get to be chauffeured all over by a beautiful woman for 14 months, but you can bet, the duress of the current draconian DUI laws causes many divorces. So here's another example of victimless "crimes" causing real damage to society.
When I told all this to a woman who works for a PA State Rep, all she did was tell me there was nothing she could do for "refusals". As I went through the punishment process, I called her office periodically to give her an account of the effect the laws had, pro and con. But she, nor her congressman, wanted to hear it, and after a fourth call (over a 2-month period), actually HUNG UP on me. So here's some evidence as to how the STATE values the feedback of its CITIZENS. It doesn't. And it doesn't really CARE about you or whether you are killed by a drunk driver. All the state really cares about is the MAINTENANCE OF ITS POWER and giving the ILLUSION that it's providing "security" for its citizens. You refuse the state, and YOU are a worse criminal than a deadly drunk driver.
That said, having gone through the DUI system of the police state of Pennsylvania, I can hopefully offer some insights, and maybe even some solutions. I realize that when a person loses a loved-one by a drunk driver that person may want to kill the drunk driver and everyone in the entire world for that matter. Thus I can understand a Candy Lighter's hate and frustration as well as her motivation for starting MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) in 1980. But MADD, in light of the above and in its passion, has thrown reason out the window and made some serious mistakes, mistakes that will eventually kill many more than the 300,000 supposedly saved from drunk drivers since 1985.
In short: drunk driving is NOT a crime, it's a RIGHT. HITTING someone WHILE you are drunk is the CRIME.
Driving is a Right, Not a Privilege:
Also, DRIVING is not a PRIVILEGE, it's a RIGHT. A human being has an inalienable RIGHT to MOTION, whether such motion is by foot, bicycle or motored vehicle. No person, government or entity has the right to convert this inalienable right into a privilege so it can be regulated and taxed by the state.
The conversion of the right to drive into a "privilege" to drive is one of many such conversions the state imposes on the citizens in order to extort ever higher revenue streams. Today, citizens are expected to get a license to do everything but breath. The ONLY reason you don't need a license to breath is because the state-mentally hasn't yet figured out a way to impose such a license.
The place to address the problem of alcohol and DUI is at the level of consumption and education, not draconian laws that punish and infringe rights or victimize families and the disabled even further.
Drink Responsibly, But for God's Sakes Don't STOP Drinking:
While I was attending one of my alcohol rehab classes at Pathway, the counselor, who was a highly-trained physiologist with a degree from Penn (where I also went) stated that "Statistics show that 80% of you will be right back in this re-hab session for DUI." I was abhorred to hear this and asked, why was that. He said because "It has been discovered that certain people have genes that predispose them to alcoholism." I then stated: "So that means 80% of the people who are arrested for DUI are actually handicapped people, yet they are being exploited by the state and programs such as yours for DUI?" This did not go over well, but I continued: "Thus, if what you say is true, that people are predisposed to alcoholism, then the only way to play the game is total abstinence."
What he said to this shocked me: "No, the solution is drink responsibly." Where have I heard THAT before? That's right, on TV and from liquor companies. So I said, "But why not just encourage people to STOP drinking rather than take the risk that someone will go over some limit?" The counselor didn't answer the question, but my drunk driving teacher at COAD actually DID honestly answer this question a month earlier. She said, "Alcohol is big business. If no one drank liquor, billions in revenue would dry up. Liquor companies would shut their doors, people would be out of work." What my teacher inferred, but didn't need to say, was this: not only would the liquor corporations lose billions, so would the state and so would all the ancillary industries including COAD and Pathmark and the endless other similar counselors. Not only would the state lose billions in revenues on the sale of alcohol, but the court system would loose millions and all the lawyers that feed off the DUI industry would loose millions. In short, the state and all the so-called rehabilitation entities, are partners with the booze companies. Especially the state, for the state participates in the revenue of every single bottle of booze sold. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is thus a drug-pusher, yet it thinks it has the moral authority to punish and rehabilitate people like me. Is this a crock of hypocrisy or what?
We're ALL Criminals Now:
A quick assessment of all your family, friends and business associates will confirm that about half drink alcohol. In fact, according to surveys, 63% to 71% actually state that they drink alcohol, mostly beer and wine these days. Polls also show that the number of drinks people are consuming per week is rising. Although no one will ever know the true stats, you KNOW as well as I do, almost everyone that leaves a bar or party is driving under the influence of alcohol to SOME degree. And since the state has arbitrarily lowered the BAC to .08 (a ridiculously low level) almost all of these people are technically driving while "drunk," at least according to the "law." Thus, according to the laws MADD has forced upon legislators, 63 to 71 percent of the American population are criminals. All these criminals are thus subject to invasion of privacy and threat of fine and imprisonment unless they give blood at the demand of the state.
Don't Tell Cops That Alcoholics Are Better Drivers:
While I was in my drunk drivers class, there was an individual, and one that came to visit, that were horribly damaged in a car crash while driving under the influence. When asked how much each had had to drink, BOTH women stated that they had only had "one or two drinks" and they stated that their BACs in fact proved this to be true. What came to light was the fact that the OCCASIONAL drinker, the "social" drinker was often LESS able handle a motor vehicle under the influence than the alcoholic who drinks all the time. These two women were evidence of this. Given this uncomfortable fact, and the idea that certain members of the population have genes that "pre-dispose" them to drink, can society really claim that the arbitrary "legal limit" of sobriety -- a BAC of .08 -- has any meaning? When I mentioned this to the police officer as he dropped off "that night," he had nothing to say to me that could refute what I had said, so all he did was repeat a mantra to justify his unconstitutional use of government force over me: "I'm glad I got you off the street." And he did, he got a citizen that doesn't drink alcohol but about four times a year off the street, a citizen that's spent the past six years producing public service documentaries about the U.S. Constitution and sticking up for "states rights." At this point I question whether the STATE should have ANY rights if they are going to pass irresponsible , ineffectual and draconian laws like the DUI laws they so handsomely profit from.
Mission Creep -- DUI Laws Have Gone Too Far:
So DUI law has gone too far. The pendulum has swung WAY to far to the opposite side: making DUI laws more draconian does NOT result in lower traffic fatalities. Genn Beck reports on page 156 in his book, Arguing With Idiots the following:"In their effort to make the world better, Nannies enact nuisance laws that undermine our liberty, punish everyone equally -- and make our world worse. Candy Lightner ... ended up leaving her own organization. Why? Mission creep" Beck continues:To a degree Candy Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), agrees, and this is one of the reasons she quit the organization, stating the following:
"Here's a good illustration of the way most well-intentioned Nanny State ideas progress. MADD started out by bringing awareness about drunk driving to the masses and, from 1982 to 1992, the results were spectacular. Since then, despite increasingly draconian proposals that are taking away freedoms from law-abiding Americans, progress has been dismal. Nanny State programs are a lot like weight loss -- you can drop a lot of pounds quickly by doing some basic, commonsense things, but soon you hit a plateau where every successive pound becomes harder to lose, and you end up doing increasingly crazy things to eke out small wins. No one is saying that MADD doesn't serve a great purpose -- but there does come a point where the benefit to society no longer justified the ever-increasing costs"
"[MADD has] become far more neo-prohibitionist than I had ever wanted or envisioned ... I didn't start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving."
It's ironic that Lightner quit MADD because she felt it was advocating NO drinking of alcohol. In my view based on the above cited experiences, it seems logical that the only game one CAN play, if they have the Alcohol Gene, IS to do NO drinking, as MADD seems to subconsciously recognize. But if this is not what society's doo-gooders recognize, we will continue to enact more and more nuisance laws in a vain attempt to eke out lower death statistics on the road. Unfortunately, when do-gooders (and victims) rule, draconian laws are made. The Nanny State gets ever bigger as more and more nuisance laws are enacted eventually turning the United States into the Fourth Reich. All the while the same "greater good" ignoramuses in overzealous city councils, school boards and power-hungry lobby firms allow multi-billion dollar booze corporations and state governments to PROFIT from endless mission creep.
Is it right for society to victimize handicapped people known as "alcoholics," who, according to experts, have DNA that "pre-disposes them to be unable to drink responsibly," yet the state, and its functionaries, emphasize punishment rather than abstinence, education and rehabilitation?
Taking Advantage of Invalids:
Also, consider this inconsistency: When the state DOES stop someone who is obviously drunk, how can the officer legitimately inform that citizen of his or her rights? If the citizen is drunk, then the citizen is under the influence of a mind-altering substance. If the citizen is under the influence of a mind-altering substance, the citizen could be said to be temporarily handicapped or even insane. Thus, I ask you, what meaning does anything an officer reads or says to such a handicapped, or insane, citizen have? When I was stopped, I had had no more drinks than the legal limit, BUT I had also had nothing to eat the entire day (as I was so busy that day, I literally forgot to eat lunch). Thus I could have been "temporarily handicapped or insane" from alcohol and/or a combination of starvation and alcohol-poisoning. In this condition -- if the officer reads me a list of punishments I face if I REFUSE to give blood (or other biology) -- how can I be expected to properly evaluate appropriate conduct? How can I properly evaluate whether my rights are being protected or abused? How can a citizen be required to make LEGAL decisions when under the influence of a mind-altering drug and while at the same time being threatened with fine and punishment unless such citizen gives the state blood? If they ARE temporarily insane and they refuse to give blood, they may have refused ONLY because they were unable to properly JUDGE the consequences and liabilities of "refusal" at the time. Here is another reason the state has no right to force itself upon the citizen who, not only may be classified as permanently handicapped due to DNA pre-disposition, but temporarily handicapped (or insane) due to alcohol intoxication or poisoning.
In short: the STATE has no right to threaten citizens and expect LEGAL compliance when those citizens are in a drugged or alter state. This is, in essence, taking advantage of invalids and/or the handicapped.
Alcohol Consumption vs. Prohibition:
The Constitution was written to protect the rights all 310,000,000 U.S. citizens, whether invalids, handicapped, poor, or normal citizens: not to AVENGE the real or imagined losses of some group of victims that has suffered special circumstances.
Is it absolutely horrible that drunk drivers kill innocent people. And this paper is NOT trying to make an excuse for this social dilemma OR to condone drinking alcohol. This paper is NOT even recommending that people "drink responsibly" or "drink in moderation." This paper is recommending that people: DO NOT DRINK AT ALL. PERIOD. This paper is unequivocally stating that, under the game, as currently set up by special interest groups and the current special interest-favoring Congress at both the Federal and state levels: THE ONLY VIABLE GAME IS TO NOT PLAY AT ALL. DO NOT DRINK AT ALL. PERIOD. So maybe MADD's "neo-prohibitionist" stance is headed in the right direction. The problem of ALCOHOL consumption and addiction is WAY bigger than "just" drunk driving. The millions of victims across the U.S. (and world) that suffer at the hands of the "social drinker" is FAR worse than the "mere" 12,998 people killed on the nation's highways in 2007 (down from 21,113 in 1982) because these millions of alcohol consumers literally gum up the wheels of civilization, ruining relationships and families, causing deep-ocean oil spills and even precipitating and continuing war itself. How many men and women in Congress, the military and even the President's cabinet do you think consume alcohol on a regular basis? Why almost everyone in Washington DC is a drunk.
BUT, that said: the chemicals a citizen -- as opposed to a public servant -- puts into his or her body are no business of the state. The state has no business telling a citizen WHAT or HOW MUCH of ANY chemical or substance they may or may not consume or put into their body -- but the citizen DOES have a right to tell and expect that anyone who holds office in the federal, state or local government does not consume alcohol or ANY other drugs during their term of office. In other words: GOVERNMENT JURISDICTION OVER MY BODY STOPS AT MY SKIN BUT A CITIZEN'S JURISDICTION OVER A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL'S CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL AND ALL OTHER DRUGS SHOULD BE WITHOUT LIMIT.
If the state is going to forbid citizens from use mind-altering substances (alcohol, illegal drugs or pharmaceuticals) while operating heavy equipment (such as cars) on the grounds that such users become an unacceptable risk to society, then why shouldn't the use of mind-altering substances (alcohol, illegal drugs and especially pharmaceuticals) also be forbidden when the citizen is involved in ANY activity that could become an unacceptable risk to society. Does a hung-over congressman pass better laws? Does a mother that uses "legalized" drugs (pharmaceuticals) to remedy her "depression" pose any liability to her children when she becomes incapable of showing love to society's future generation. Does the CEO of a major corporation pose an unacceptable risk to society when he operates his company with a foggy 5 O'clock, scotch-on-the-rocks, mind. Did the liquor-drinking president Richard Nixon operate the United States government in as safe and predictable manner as he could have? What about all the wars that have been started by men who consume alcoholic beverages? Are the normal people that fight in these wars, yet drink alcoholic beverages, more dangerous to society? Or are the hung-over and pharmaceutical drug-dependent politicians that MAKE these wars, and the DUI laws, more dangerous? If society is going to remove drunk drivers from the streets, then society should also remove psychopathic personalities that result from alcohol and drug-use from governments.
* * *
We now have a government that is GROSSLY violating the original intent of the Founders. The purpose of government is to PROTECT citizens from INVASIONS from foreign countries; to put down illegal and unconstitutional internal conflicts; and to enforce the legitimate, constitutional laws of the land. That government may also, in a very LIMITED way, provide ONLY what the free and private markets CANNOT provide. That's it.
Issuing fishing and driving licenses are NOT part of the government's hat. Demanding blood of its citizens under duress and threat is NOT part of the government's hat. Criminalizing ever larger segments of the population on the guidance and pressure of special interest groups are NOT part of its hat. Invading interstate commerce on the pretext that it has a right to because an activist Supreme Court misinterpreted and expanded the Commerce Clause is not its hat. Removing citizens guns or in any way threatening them with regulations, NOT stipulated in the Constitution, is illegal at the highest level.
Citizens must REFUSE to allow these things. Citizens must ruthlessly remove from office any and all congressmen, officers, oath takers and other government functionaries at the local, state and federal levels who REFUSE to comply with the letter of the highest law in the land.
Federal, state and local office-holders have a moral and legal responsibility to abstain from the consumption of alcohol and drugs while serving their term otherwise they potentially place citizens at far greater risk than drunk drivers. Such office-holders are expected to handle the heavy machinery of government and society, a burden far greater than handling the machinery of a single automobile.
DUI must either be decriminalized or the demand for blood (and biology) abolished. The state can't have its cake, eat it too and wander the civilization hung-over or drunk. Today, state and special interests demand their cake and eat WAY too much of it. Citizens should REFUSE such tyranny at every turn.
Originated: 06 May 2010
Revised and Supplemented: 27 May 2010
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