By November 19, 2013 2 Comments Read More →

Throughout 2013, Police Have Been Setting Up ‘DNA Checkpoints’ All Over America

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Throughout the year police have been setting up “DNA checkpoints” where they test the blood and saliva of drivers. CNN reported on this in passing back in June, when Alabama drivers faced these supposedly “voluntary” checkpoints. Drivers claimed they were anything but voluntary in terms of how the options were presented to drivers. But now the same sort of check points have been popping up in others parts of the country, including Texas.

Recently drivers along a busy North Fort Worth street have been stopped at a police “DNA checkpoint” roadblock. From there they were directed into a parking lot, where they were asked by federal contractors – not even police officers themselves – for samples of their breath, saliva and even blood.

They say that this is all part of a government research study which aims to determine the number of drunken or impaired drivers.

But many residents aren’t having it. “It just doesn’t seem right that you can be forced off the road when you’re not doing anything wrong,” Kim Cope said. Cope was on her lunch break and said there was nothing voluntary about being pulled over at the roadblock when she had very little time to go grab a bite to eat.

“I gestured to the guy in front that I just wanted to go straight, but he wouldn’t let me and forced me into a parking spot,” she explained.

“They were asking for cheek swabs,” and they said that “they would give $10 for that. Also, if you let them take your blood, they would pay you $50 for that.”

“I finally did the Breathalyzer test just because I thought that would be the easiest way to leave,” she said, explaining that they did not pay her anything.

Fort Worth police Sgt. Kelley Peel said that no officers were involved at all and a spokesman for nearby Haltom City police said his department was not involved either. This all raises further questions of how contractors are given the latitude to put people in these positions that feel anything but voluntary.

The survey was done by a government contractor, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, based in Calverton, Maryland. But the company in question has referred all questions to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A Fort Worth attorney and expert in civil liberties law, Frank Colosi says these stops are unconstitutional.

“You can’t just be pulled over randomly or for no reason.”

“They’re essentially lying to you when they say it’s completely voluntary, because they’re testing you at that moment,” Colosi said.

He also notes that the studies are inherently flawed if this premise were true, as impaired drivers would decline participation in such a study if it were truly and clearly a voluntary one.

Back in June, off-duty sheriff’s deputies in St. Clair County, to the east, and Bibb County, to the southwest, forced motorists to pull over as part of the same “voluntary” survey.

Susan Watson, executive director of the Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that this is an “abuse of power.” According to her, people still feel they need to comply when asked by a police officer, even if they claim that it is voluntary. Certainly there is no option to just keep going and not pull over, so the claim that these surveys are “voluntary” is merely a smoke screen for unconstitutional abuses she said.

“How voluntary is it when you have a police officer in uniform flagging you down?” she asked. “Are you going to stop? Yes, you’re going to stop.”

Spread the word! These “voluntary surveys” are coming to a town near you!

(Article by James Achisa)

2 Comments on "Throughout 2013, Police Have Been Setting Up ‘DNA Checkpoints’ All Over America"

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  1. Amy says:

    They are in my county today. Berks County that is. They forced my friend off the road taking his mother to a Dr appt which she was late to because of this. He said hell no as everyone else should as well!!

  2. TIm Spencer says:

    As long as we, the citizenry, allow this kind of bad behavior by law enforcement it will continue.

    If we allow it to continue, we have no room to complain.

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