Friday, July 3, 2009

This July 4th we celebrate our freedom - except for those who drink and drive?

July 4th. A day we spend remembering the greatness that is the United States of America and join together in gratitude for our freedoms!

Except if you had the audacity to have a beer before heading home from the fireworks.

Yes, this weekend, Kane county will "host" another one of its "No Refusal Weekends" and coerce people into giving breath samples and blood samples at the whim of an officer. You see, when arrested for an Illinois DUI, it is implied that you "consent" to submit to such testing unless you withdraw that consent. Why might you withdraw that consent? Well, maybe you feel the officer hasn't been totally fair up to that point with his silly acrobatic tests designed to make you fail. Maybe you don't trust these chemical tests in these contraptions because you know they aren't to be trusted. Or maybe you just feel like you have a Constitutional right to shut up (you do).

However, this weekend in Kane county, if you withdraw your consent to testing, the officer will threaten you. Not just with the standard stuff about a longer license suspension (in many cases just a minor inconvenience now, but that's for another time), but with . . . a warrant.


They'll get a warrant. My opinion? Good - let 'em. That way, the Judge has to decide whether the officer has probable cause to obtain the sample, and I'd rather have a Judge decide. Taking away the right of a person to refuse chemical testing means one thing to an officer - he doesn't have to work real hard, just do the minimum. If they can rely on a machine, they can turn off their brains. Apparently, most people don't think of that, because once faced with a warrant, they just cave. In the last "No Refusal Weekend" Kane county conducted, exactly one fellow made them get a warrant. Too bad.

Maybe more of us should remember, and exercise our rights this July 4th weekend.