Compliance Testing

From Channel 5 in Dallas/Fort Worth:

Some drivers along a busy North Fort Worth street on Friday were stopped at police roadblock and directed into a parking lot, where they were asked by federal contractors for samples of their breath, saliva and even blood.

It was part of a government research study aimed at determining the number of drunken or drug-impaired drivers.

This—detaining drivers and requiring them to submit to tests before they can leave—is wrong in so many ways. In Texas, even sobriety checkpoints are illegal. So what were the local cops thinking?

Fort Worth police Sgt. Kelly Peel said he could not immediately locate any record of Fort Worth officers being involved in the roadblock but said he was still checking Monday evening.

A spokesman for nearby Haltom City police said his department was not involved.

NBC DFW confirmed that the survey was done by a government contractor, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, which is based in Calverton, Md.

A company spokeswoman referred questions to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The NHTSA doesn’t, as far as I know, have police. So who were the “police” manning the roadblock?

In Alabama (where sobriety checkpoints are legal), the cops were off-duty police. (I’ve put in public information act requests to Fort Worth to find out what Sgt. Kelly Peel is hiding with his “still checking three days later.”)

So private company Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation is, on a federal contract, hiring off-duty cops or using local cops to illegally detain people and collect buccal, breath, and blood samples. The company spins the unlawful detentions as “voluntary.”

There is nothing about this story that isn’t sinister.

13 Comments

      1. Surely you got the facetious tone of my comment. Besides, it isn’t like our president did something really egregious like complain about the need to have the Supreme Court review a proposed major piece of legislation. Oh wait…

  1. One report quoted a lady who said they were offering to pay for swabs and blood, but not for breath.

    Her main point was that the “being pulled over” part was not in any way voluntary.

    No report I read had the “police officers'” agency identified.

    Brad Frye

  2. Or, in another (unlikely) \scenario, the “police” were just some dudes hired to wear uniforms. After all, if you’re contracted by the federal government, that’s the same as having law enforcement power delegated to you, right?

  3. Mark, how can you object? This was after all for our safety.

    Or do you want wild destructive drunk drivers killing your kids?

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