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DUI laws and the Constitution

by Charles Platt

Florida has joined the growing list of states that are raising revenue by stopping drivers at random (not with probable cause) and forcing everyone to be breathalyzed–on the understanding that if anyone refuses, a judge on-site will issue a warrant authorizing the cops to take a blood sample by force, if necessary. Naturally Mothers Against Drunk Driving endorses this as a great idea. Here’s the news item.

For years I have had a gut-level aversion to MADD. The name alone is manipulative (who would ever dare to oppose that most sacred group, mothers, against that most reviled subspecies, drunk drivers?). The tactics are abhorrent (such as going to the Feds for help in forcing states to conform, when really this should be a state issue). And of course taking someone’s license away simply for triggering a detection device, before anything has been proven, is totally unacceptable.

But now I find that the situation is far worse than I imagined. If you have the time, this guy will tell you why.

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