There is no reason this program should ever be used on American soil. It is completely wrong.
Some drivers along a busy Fort Worth street on Friday were stopped at a police roadblock and directed into a parking lot, where they were asked by federal contractors for samples of their breath, saliva and even blood.
It was part of a government research study aimed at determining the number of drunken or drug-impaired drivers.
“It just doesn’t seem right that you can be forced off the road when you’re not doing anything wrong,” said Kim Cope, who said she was on her lunch break when she was forced to pull over at the roadblock on Beach Street in North Fort Worth.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is spending $7.9 million on the survey over three years, said participation was “100 percent voluntary” and anonymous.
But Cope said it didn’t feel voluntary to her — despite signs saying it was.
“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 said.
Once parked, she couldn’t believe what she was asked next.
“They were asking for cheek swabs,” she said. “They would give $10 for that. Also, if you let them take your blood, they would pay you $50 for that.”
At the very least, she said, they wanted to test her breath for alcohol.
She said she felt trapped.
“I finally did the Breathalyzer test just because I thought that would be the easiest way to leave,” she said, adding she received no money.
First, anyone who claims being stopped by a roadblock is “voluntary” does not understand the word. It does not mean what he thinks it means.
Second, if she thought these men were cops, that indicates they were both uniformed and armed. And, in fact, the story goes on to report that the NHTSA used off-duty police officers. Being questioned by people with badges and firearms is never voluntary. It is a gross abuse of power.
Personally, I don’t believe those roadblocks and bodily fluid collections are being done for research into drunk driving. It is far more likely that the roadblocks are being carried out to research how Americans react to the gratuitous use of power against them. Will they comply? Or will they resist?
This project by the NHTSA is Exhibit A in the case for why we need another deeper and longer-lasting government shutdown.