Skip to comments.Michigan Teen Challenging Warrantless Breathalyzer Law
Posted on 06/08/2016 1:29:44 PM PDT by Theoria
A Michigan teen who was ticketed as a passenger for balking at taking a Breathalyzer test says that she refused because the detective did not have a warrant.
Now 17-year-old Casey Guthrie has filed a federal lawsuit against the cop who slapped her with the $100 citation last month.
The honor student is also challenging the constitutionality of a Michigan law that makes it a civil infraction for anybody under age 21 to refuse a police officer's request to blow into the device and does not require the cop to produce a warrant.
"No adequate remedy exists at law to redress this unconstitutional policy, practice, and/or custom," the lawsuit states.
The law violates Guthrie's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches, her Detroit lawyer told NBC News.
"Her rights were violated when she was forced to submit to Breathalyzer to prove her innocence," attorney Mike Rataj said. "That is not how the criminal justice system works. This is a girl who has never been in trouble before and has no criminal history."
"Also, she was not the driver," Rataj noted. "She was a passenger in a car with a bunch of other high school seniors."
Rataj added that Guthrie's father is a retired ATF officer who had warned her earlier never to submit to a Breathalyzer without a warrant . He said Guthrie's dad arrived at the scene after Detective Kenneth Pelland of the Gross Isle Township police pulled the car over last month.
"She called her father," Rataj said. "This particular officer is notorious for intimidating kids... The officer lied and said he smelled alcohol on her."
There was no immediate response to Rataj's charge or the lawsuit from Township Supervisor Brian Loftus or from Pelland.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcnews.com ...
For decades states have gotten away with this using the doctrine of implied consent. If you apply for a drivers license it is “implied” that you are also consenting to a breath test.
Since this kid was a passenger his consent cannot be “implied” from anything. This looks like one of those cases that could tie our entire court system in knots for the next 13 years.
Good analysis. I think this legal challenge is overdue.
Largely a result of the idiocy of treating 18-20 year olds as though they were minors regarding alcohol, but adults regarding everything else.
The girl may have a point. This will give her a guaranteed A+ Term Paper, especially if she doesn’t have to pay that ticket. She’ll be a High School Hero! Just don’t lord it over every cop you encounter.
How did you change "her" into "him"?
In NY you tell the cop NO. And you get a fine and you get your insurance bumped. But it is NOT a DWI conviction. Lawyers here tell you NOT to submit to tests.
Probable cause? Was she visibly intoxicated or smelling of alcohol? Then no warrant is required IIRC. Your mileage may vary.
The police are always right
The solution is to refuse to roll down your window - just crack it. When the cop asks to roll it down, say no.
The cop will be innocuous and say "It's just so I can hear you better", to which you reply "I can hear YOU just fine".
Cops are trained to look for openings. Don't give them one.
Not that I have any confidence in the outcome.
Most likely John Roberts will find that by entering the vehicle he gave his consent. Which is a tax.
Normally I’d lol at that. But there is too much truth to your comment.
Yes very true this foolish has cause no amount of trouble for 18 to 20 year old.
There are more than a few of these cops who think they can run rough shod over kids. A friend's son was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. The cop gave them both tickets. The 16 year old passenger didn't have his drivers license on him so he showed his military ID from his dad. The cop said he asked for his drivers license, the kid didn't have it so blam! a ticket for improper ID. What the heck, the kid wasn't driving. The dad had to take off work to challenge it.
“How did you change “her” into “him”?
It’s how she “felt” that day!
correction; it does now. She's lucky this POS cop didn't do a body cavity check on her for drugs. Or should I say, the cop is lucky, in this case.
I had a personal meeting with Grosse Ile supervisor Brian Loftus in 2009 about this very subject. US District Judge Lawton (Eastern Michigan) had already ruled these actions unconstitutional. I advised him bad law enforced by zealots was a bad mix and eventually he would be sued. I could go on at great length however I don’t wish to boor. This is what Jen Granholm and the Democrats thought was a good idea back in 2004.
“How did you change “her” into “him”?”
Genders are a bend’en these days.
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