Motorists who have faced charges of impaired driving are getting louder in their protests against the tactics and protocols used by law enforcement agencies. Yes, impaired driving kills. It's a tragedy that forever changes families as well as destroying lives. But the effort to detect a danger has led some legislators to approve methods which are very suspect and deprive innocent people of their constitutional rights.
One of their own, Rep Dean Davis, knows this all too well. He was charged by Broken Arrow Police, last summer. When he retained his 4th amendment right of privacy, he was promptly arrested for doing so. The lone cop had no video evidence and even when the lawmaker consented to a 3rd party blood test, the cop refused that option and the lawmaker spent the night in the county jail. His case is still in litigation.
One lawmaker was studying a new standard based on 'what the driver's best capabilities are', and charging them for any 'slightest impairment'. He pulled that bill and is seeking further study.
We talked with a few lawmakers and asked;
"What about the 84 year old lady in our neighborhood who still drives even though she's far from capable of passing a Drivers License road test?".
Clearly we need a threshold of competence to share the public road with others while driving deadly weapons(vehicles).
Flu Victim Dies In Atoka Jail, On False DUI Charges
Last winter a driver from Wisconsin was detained near Atoka, OK. The elderly cop was prejudiced about the report of swerving out of the lane, and gave the driver a breath test, then took him to the local hospital labe to have blood drawn for alcohol content. the man complained of being sick.
Still not deterred from the drunk-driving narrative, the cop put the man in jail overnight to 'dry up'.
The next morning the man was found dead in the jail cell. Autopsy concluded the man had influenza, and no alcohol in his system. the cop killed the man, through narrow-minded prejudice and confirmation bias.
This brings us to the simple question of; "Why not just issue a citation for the infraction which warranted the traffic stop?", and if a field sobriety test is so convincing that a motorist needs to be off the road, consider just take the motorist to the police station or let them have someone else come take them home. There is a broad statute of reckless endangerment, and it certainly can apply to a staggering motorist.
The reality is, cops are reduced to the role of hauling around laboratory equipment to attempt to prove things that should be obvious. Breathalyzers are vastly inaccurate and generally are not acceptable as evidence in court. They are only a basis for probable cause actions. A cop cannot force a motorist to take that test and a wise constitutionalist should be leary of any test which is not conducted by a 3rd party (such as a clinic, lab, or hospital).
Oklahoma law enforcement operates on a certain level of bluffing and intimidation. The district court prosecutors are even more adept at this. They say it's all for our own good... and I'm sure they usually believe it; or else they'd quit the behavior. They even lie to us, but prosecute us if we lie to them.
The reality is that we all have handicaps and bad days. The other day I had to drive myself to the pharmacy for medication even while in severe pain from back spasms. I would not have passed a field sobriety coordination test during that time. But I'd doubt a cop would have treated me the way a consumer of liquor or cannabis is often treated. The reason is that the cop sees me as a sympathetic sufferer, but chooses to see others differently.
There's such a thing as too much police training, especially when it's so biased and lopsided, so as to impair the officer from seeing what's right in front of him. I admire cops and the difficulty we put them in. I wish we'd encourage the cops to just leave people alone, more. If there's a victim, then there's a need for justice. But too much policing is devoted to looking for a criminal where there's not even a victim. And let's stop adding to the incentives to fund law enforcement via fines & confiscations. Cops and prosecutors should be guaranteed a paycheck without having to meet a cash quota.