A story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune caught our eye the other day.
The story is about the National Alcohol and Drugged Driving Survey, which is meant to help the federal government gain a realistic understanding of how many motorists are driving while impaired.
The survey has been collected since 1973, but the tactics being used this year are being called overly aggressive and potentially an infringement on people’s rights.
For example, one man sued after he was allegedly pulled over for no reason, interrogated about his driving habits and told he needed to provide a cheek swab, which evidently was to be used to determine whether he had alcohol or drugs in his system. The man objected to how intrusive the process was and believes it violated his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.
As far as we know, no Minnesota resident has filed a similar suit. Since this survey is nationwide, however, we thought it was an issue was worth discussing.
Drunk driving can be a safety issue, so it’s good that our government wants to pay attention to it. On the other hand, there is such a thing as going too far. From a legal perspective, I have to say there might be something to this man’s claims that his rights were violated. We should at least think about whether this is really the best way to conduct the National Alcohol and Drugged Driving Survey.
As a Minnesota DWI Attorney, I help Twin Cities residents after they have been accused of driving while impaired. If you are ever in a position and think it would be helpful to talk to an attorney, please feel free to contact me.