Archive for September 22nd, 2011

MADD’s “War on Drunk Driving” Marches On

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

A few years ago, MADD readjusted their prohibitionist crosshairs from drunk drivers to include under-age drinking generally – regardless of any driving.  As I pointed out in a previous post (MADD continues shift toward prohibition), the organization amended their official "Mission Statement" of preventing drunk driving:


By 1999, MADD had greatly expanded its work on preventing underage drinking and emerging research underscored our efforts to prevent youth alcohol use. MADD’s efforts in this area were also encouraged and supported by the government, corporations, educators, the media and public. The mission statement was officially changed to make preventing underage drinking a free-standing prong of the mission. The updated mission, which continues to guide the organization today, read “The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.”


So…where are we going with MADD’s so-called "War on Drunk Driving"?


Boy, 13, Suing Livonia Over Forced Alcohol-Breath Test

Detroit, MI.  Sept. 20 – A 13-year-old boy is suing the city of Livonia for allegedly forcing him and his friends to take an alcohol-breath test without a warrant during a school picnic, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court today.

According to the lawsuit: “A 13-year-old middle schooler with no history of alcohol abuse or disciplinary problems, was forced to take a breathalyzer test by the Livona police based on an unfounded accusation that he had been drinking during a school field trip to Rotary park.”

The breath test ultimately showed that the boy – an 8th grader at Discovery Middle School in Canton – had not been drinking, “but he should not have been subjected to the procedure in the first place,” the suit stated.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the boy and his mother, said the breathalyzer amounted to an unlawful search under the Fourth Amendment.

“Federal and state courts have ruled over and over again that if a teen is not driving, the police need a search warrant to administer a breath test,” said ACLU staff attorney Dan Korobkin. “The Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement is designed to prevent exactly what happened in this case. When there is no evidence that a child has done anything wrong, he should never be subjected to this degrading and embarrassing procedure in front of his teachers and peers.”

According to the lawsuit, the incident happened during an eighth grade graduation celebration in Livonia’s Rotary Park. The plaintiff, who had graduated from Discovery Middle School in Canton, went into the woods with some friends for a short walk, the lawsuit stated.

When they returned, they were accused of drinking by the assistant principal who had followed them into the woods and found an empty liquor bottle on the ground, the suit stated. The students said that the bottle did not belong to them and that they weren’t drinking, but the assistant principal didn’t believe them and called the police, the lawsuit said.

When officers arrived, they forced the students to take a breath test without their consent, and without notifying the parents of the accusations, the ACLU argues.

The teens each registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.00, proving their innocence.

“My son has always been taught to respect his educators and law enforcement,” said Tina Barbee, the plaintiff’s mother, said in an ACLU press release. “In June, he was taught a very different lesson – educators and police make mistakes. Although a wrong was done, I truly believe it can be made right. My son is standing up for his constitutional rights so that what happened to him doesn’t have to happen to anyone else.”

 
MADD is well along the path toward its eventual goal.


(Thanks to Joe Cadillic.)
 

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