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View Diary: Understanding the Right to Privacy And the Right to Choose (322 comments)

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  •  That's why... (none)
    ..they can bust you for possession of a controlled substance, but not for being high.  Drunk and Disorderly requires the disorderly part...
    •  But there's laws in several States (none)
      and pending federally, to criminalize operating a motor vehicle with "any detectable amount" of a controlled substance in your system. I prevailed on the GOP sponsor of the Wisconsin law to drop metabolites, ie inert byproducts from the bill, but  this was not the case for the Michigan statute.

      Given the ability of modern forensic science to detect parts per trillion, we're ot talking quantities with any plausible impact on driver safety. So far as I'm aware, none of these statutes has yet faced a Constitutional challenge.

      I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or yours.

      by ben masel on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 08:14:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  These per-se laws... (none)
        ...are very much an attempt to get around this distinction - and that's the basis for the opposition to them.   The reason they can't randomly take blood samples from folks walking down the street is what I cite: you can't be busted for what's in your bloodstream alone!

        You can be busted for driving under the influence - the compelling interest exists there.

        The challenge to the laws is to show that having metabolites in the bloodstream does not equate intoxication.  The point of the laws is to figure out how to create a de-facto ban where you have no affirmative defense.  The poppy seed false positive case law will hopefully ultimately be helpful.

        If it's not clear - I'm a very strong opponent of these laws.

      •  And I'm sure.... (none)
        ...you love GCMS hair analysis too...

        Kudos on getting the metabolites removed from the MI law.  

      •  boy.... (none)
        ...I need to learn to read...

        Kudos on the Wisconsin law...the Michigan situation is bad.

        I think there will be pushback on these laws if they are evenly enforced.  I think they are more likely to be used as prosecutorial deal-making tools in selective enforcement situations.  Middle aged white guys driving 4 door sedans (like me) probably won't have the same kinds of issues.  I am very disturbed by these laws, and the implications for police powers.  I think it will be the case that "I thought I smelled MJ" is sufficient for a suspect to be incarcerated (vs. 'detained') pending forensics.  

        •  To date... (none)
          the Wisconsin law has only been used where there's been an accident, and the 2 convictions under it so far resulted from plea bargains. Attorney General Lautenshlager has directed the State Crime Lab to use the simpler of the available tests for blood samples, which only goes to parts per million, not trillion, but only as a fiscal policy call, not as a matter of Right.

          (The "Baby Luke Law" has only been in effect since Feb. It also criminalizes operation of motorboats and snowmobiles, and possession of firearms, with "any detectable amount." I expect that the really interesting challenge will eventually come on the firearms side. While operation of a motor vehicle is a "privelege," firearms are an Individual Right under the State Constitution

          I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or yours.

          by ben masel on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 09:04:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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