WV Bill Would Force Blood Tests on Arrested Drivers

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

"I think for a conservative Southern Democrat to propose such a thing is offensive, to be honest," says Bobby Shrader of Parkersburg.

"These kind of laws make me pretty nervous; I think they're a little bit too invasive," says Dave Boso of Ravenswood.

Governor Tomblin may have the right intentions when it comes to cracking down on drugged driving, but there's much more to his proposed bill forcing blood tests on arrested drivers.

It could also mean having their licenses revoked if they refuse.

"There are constitutional and privacy issues that are going to have to be addressed in the law before I think the legislature will pass it," says attorney George Cosenza.

Dave thinks this leaves too much room for abuse.

"I'm not saying a drunk or drugged driving is a proper way to be but you have to kind of balance, you know, personal privacy."

Pulled over for drunk driving, get a breathalyzer; pulled over for drugged driving -- what would they test for?

"Everything from heroin, marijuana, cocaine to other types of drugs which might be contained in prescription medication," Cosenza says. "The bottom line is, if you're driving under the influence of one of these medications and your driving is impaired, then you can be found guilty of driving under the influence of a controlled substance."

Coincidentally, I ran into Bobby, former state coordinator for Ron Paul and he brought a political perspective to the issue.

"This comes very close to or strikes directly at a violation of the Fourth Amendment, protection from unwarranted searches and seizures," he says. "Besides, drawing blood is a medical procedure and I don't think the police should have any authorization to force such a thing."

A mountain of legal hurdles must be addressed before moving forward with this legislation.

"To make sure that it's constitutionally sound and protects the person who is either under arrest or suspected of driving under the influence of drugs," Cosenza says.

If the bill passes, Bobby has a plan.

"Working with local and state lawmakers or anyone who wants to run for any such office who would oppose it and try to get it thrown out or revoked," he says.


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