Cops in one part of Ohio aren’t going to let a simple “no” stop them from testing drivers they suspect are under the influence, calling Super Bowl weekend a “no-refusal” weekend. If you do refuse to take a breath test, police will seek what they call blood-draw warrants instead.
According to the Toledo Blade, the Wood County sheriff’s office, which covers Bowling Green and Bowling Green University, and the Ohio Highway Patrol, will ask a judge for the warrants when they stop suspected impaired drivers who don’t want to take a breath test from Friday to Sunday night. In Ohio, you are allowed to refuse such a test, but your driver’s license is automatically suspended for a year as a result.
The no-refusal concept has been promoted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to reduce the number of drivers who do reduce testing, which is 38% of those pulled over in Ohio in 2005.
The American Civil Liberties Union isn’t down with the blood-draw idea or other no-refusal policies, dubbing it a violation of drivers’ rights against unreasonable search and seizure under the 4th Amendment.
Bowling Green’s City Prosecutor Matt Reger disagrees, saying when a driver gets a license, they’re implicitly agreeing to submit to a breath test. As for those blood warrants, they must show probable cause to obtain one.
“Just because we ask for it doesn’t mean it has to be granted,” Reger said. “There has to be probable cause. That’s why we go to the judge.”
Police officials added that they usually don’t ask for a blood-draw warrant for first offenders, but will do so during this weekend’s no-refusal implementation.
*Thanks to Phil for the tip!
Refusing DUI test not option [Toledo Blade]