Florida Statutes 316.1933 and 316.1932 allow blood draws to be used only in a limited number of scenarios: either there has been serious bodily injury, a fatality, or the person from whom blood is to be drawn appears in a medical facility for treatment and a breath test is impractical. Consensual blood tests are of course always permitted... but we would hope that in this day and age no one would willingly agree to one.
A blood draw is only supposed to be requested when one of the above statutorily prescribed circumstances exists. When the circumstances are not present, the legislature provided for the use of breath tests/urine tests. None of this apparently matters any more, however, in light of Florida’s new “No Refusal DUI Checkpoints.” Now if you refuse a breath test during a traffic stop and a judge happens to be on site and issues a warrant, police can perform a mandatory blood test.
Judges are supposed to be neutral like game referees; they have no right to make their own laws or help police in the enforcement of the statutes. Since when do judges have the power to act in concert with law enforcement? What happened to separation of powers? Are these judges going to ignore what the legislature has written, specifically chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes? Is there going to be a new roaming judicial division set up specifically to follow police around and issue warrants for otherwise unlawful blood draws? Images of circus clown cars come to mind. If you refuse to talk when being questioned is the judge going to hit you with his gavel? Is he going to write an order that waives all of your rights?
What this DUI checkpoint policy is essentially doing: helping the local government justify their existence and churning out more money to pay for it. Police will be able to make more arrests and pad their arrest numbers, justifying more personnel and requiring more money to run. This is on top of the overtime they already get for each DUI arrest. More overtime means Mr. Policeman makes more money, which means we pay more taxes, the government gets larger and more powerful, and your freedoms diminish. Which is all fine and dandy, until you find yourself going for a ride in a police car and requiring an attorney.
Any judge that proposes this should decide what they really want to be: Judges, Police Officers, or Politicians. Attention Judges: If you want to be a police officer and fight crime, go take a fitness test and enter the police academy. If you’re not happy with the laws of the state and feel compelled to change them, go schmooze, collect money, and run for a higher political office. If you want to remain a judge, then go back to the Bill of Rights, the Florida Constitution, the Florida Statutes and READ THEM. Pay specific attention to the 5th and 14th amendment
Just my humble thoughts.
Copyright (c) 2011, Law Office of Roger P. Foley
The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley,P.A.