VICTORY! Supreme Court Finds Drunk-Driving Laws Can Be Strictly Enforced without Abandoning Constitutional Rights

The ACLU welcomes today's Supreme Court's decision in Missouri v. McNeely. Writing for the majority, Justice Sonia Sotomayor upheld the 4th Amendment's privacy protections by rejecting the proposition that states may routinely compel drivers to submit to a blood test in drunk-driving cases without consent and without a warrant.

We know from experience that drunk-driving laws can be strictly enforced without abandoning constitutional rights. Today's decision appropriately recognizes what half the states have already demonstrated – that maintaining highway safety does not require sacrificing personal privacy.

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Well, that's something. I'd be a lot happier if they'd also announce that they were wrong about sobriety checkpoints.


I would like to begin by offering my deepest sympathy to those who suffered a loss of a love one or was injured physically or emotionally from the situation occurring around Boston. I would like to thank the law enforcement that are putting themselves in harm way to up hold the law.

I been watching the news coverage and find myself terrified by the possible repeat of history in the search for the suspect. This will probably label me as a conspiracy nut but it needs to be mentioned.
How many civil liberties are being violated in the lock down and search for the suspect in Boston. How many houses are being cataloged as having weapon and cashes of ammo? How many people are being denied the right of free assembly? How much potential economic and industrial espionage might be gathered? The house to house search and building searches done by military and law enforcement reminds me of history lesson that I was taught about the rise of Hitler and the atrocities done at the beginning of WW2.
I understand national security is necessary but is it worth it if we lose personal security.

Vicki B.

Having been an EMT and then Paramedic for more than 10 years, I don't feel the least bit sorry for someone who complains about a damn Sobriety Checkpoint.
What in the world would they need to be "afraid of?" Do they know ahead of time that they're going to get so sloshed that they fear they'll never pass it? Then don't even take your keys when you go out and let someone else drive you.
Otherwise, forget you.

On July 7, 2005 when I'd been a paramedic for less than 3 months, we received this call about a large van that had driven up over a small car and the occupants in the car were injured. That's all the information they had when we got the call and I was sort of prepared for hidden factors on the scene since the call had been so vague but not what I saw when we arrived.

What we saw was an entire family of 2 adults and 3 children, who were returning from a family outing. Every last one of them was injured. Two were dead at the scene, a baby being one of the two, and three were in critical condition.
By the time we got the living to the hospital one more was dead.
Another died in the emergency room and the third boy lived - for one year and then died of complications directly related to the accident. None of the kids in this car were older than 6. They were 6, 18 mo. and 3 mo and all were killed in an instant, like the song by that old band Exodus declared: "A fuckin' drunken lush coming from the bar, kills you in an instant driving in his car."

The person who'd run over this family received 16 years in jail for killing 5 people. Well 4 initially and the 5th after the boy died a year later.
She was highly distressed at the sentencing, saying outright that she thought it was "too harsh, that nobody gets that much time for manslaughter," which is what she thought it was.
But she hadn't felt the slightest bit sorry that she instantly killed two people and injured three more at the scene of the event. When we were doing our extraction of patients from the car, she was upset at police for taking her away from things she "needed to be doing" AND she failed to show up at her first hearing.

What happened to the family in the car is common, although usually they don't die in fours and fives all in the same car and never in my previous experience had every minor child been under 7 years old.
But the drunk driver almost always walks away with less injuries than the people they hit b/c their muscles are damn near ataxic (they have almost no ability to control their movements) and that decreases their possibility of receiving more serious injuries.

Which is why I have no desire to listen to MANY complaints about the drunk driving issue. Why wouldn't you just leave your vehicle at home, walk to the bar or have someone drive you?

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