Another freedom lost

Freedom lost and gone forever

A recent incident in Ft. Worth, Texas brought to light a federal program costing $7.9 Million dollars that has been implemented by the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration). The incident in Ft. Worth involved selecting vehicles at random, directing them to a specific area where they were met by technicians asking for breath, blood, and saliva samples. This was supposedly part of a federal research project concerning drivers who are impaired due to alcohol or drugs.

Now keep in mind that these selected vehicles were not observed breaking any laws, driving recklessly, or appearing to be driven by an impaired driver. They used off-duty police officers in uniform to select and stop vehicles at random and demand them to comply with these tests.

The Ft. Worth police chief, Jeffrey Halstead, has since apologized for this operation but this is only the beginning. With his apology he also stated the Ft. Worth police department will never approve any operation of this type again. This same operation is slated to be repeated in 300 locations in 60 different cities in the country. I wonder if the police chief's in those other cities will go along with this program?

The ACLU of Texas is now involved and feels these type of searches "are the most invasive police can conduct."

Catherine Howden, spokesperson for NHTSA claims driver participation is "completely voluntary and anonymous." It was reported that drivers stopped in Ft. Worth did not get the feeling the tests were voluntary.


The purpose for this test is to determine how many drivers are on the road who are driving impaired by drugs or alcohol. If the tests are voluntary, and the driver is impaired, would he or she voluntarily submit to the testing?

With that in mind, the $7.9 Million dollar study would find that there were no impaired drivers on the road. It makes one wonder what genius came up with this plan.


The odds of an impaired driver being selected in this program are very good. If an impaired driver is selected and had not been observed driving erratically, it could result in a lawsuit due to illegal search. If the police do catch an impaired driver in this program and they let them leave, they are liable if that driver hurts or kills someone. Due to the nature of the traffic stop, the driver could most likely beat the DUI in the courts if he was arrested.

At the same time those conducting the survey are secretly recording the drivers breath with a device attached to their clip boards without the drivers permission.

There was a previous study conducted in 2007 involving more than 9,000 drivers in various locations. The DNA tests were conducted by The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Supposedly if they encountered a driver under the influence, a supervisor conducted a breath test. If the driver had a blood-alcohol level over .05, they made sure they got home safely.

The first program of this nature took place in 1973, followed by similar programs in 1986 and 1998. So this is not a new idea by NHTSA.


I personally have serious concerns over the number of impaired drivers on the road today, but object to programs requiring random testing like this one. I totally agree with the random road blocks we have here around the Holiday Season. Every impaired driver they catch is one less I need to worry about when I am driving. I also agree with the DUI task forces that roam the streets around the holidays. They successfully remove a large number of impaired drivers from our streets. But they do this by observing the driver driving as if they are impaired.

I think the penalties for impaired driving could be much harsher. Most of those caught driving impaired are not first time offenders. That would indicate to me that the punishment was not harsh enough to deter them from repeating the offense again. I feel their driving privileges should be suspended for a long period of time, and driving with a suspended license would be a mandatory prison sentence.

I would object to being selected at random and subjected to breath, blood, and saliva testing while driving to the store for a loaf of bread.

I object to federal involvement with any programs of this nature. Most of the larger police departments have their own programs in place to deal with impaired drivers. Every day we learn of some new "Big Brother" program by the feds using our hard earned tax dollars to pay for the program. I see this program as just one more step toward total control of all citizens by the Federal Government.

Get used to doing this.

This could happen while you are on the way to school to pick up your children, or to the store for a loaf of bread. This is not the same country where I grew up.

What would you do?

If stopped at random and asked to submit to blood, breath, and saliva tests?

See results without voting

It could be you that is stopped

With testing of this nature to continue in 60 more cities, there is a probability you could be selected at random for testing. You might be thinking a little about what you would do in this circumstance.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated, but please stay on topic.

More by this Author


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I am in complete agreement on both counts my friend. I have no problem with roadblocks...I have no problem with increased patrols stopping impaired drivers...I have a huge problem with random testing when no law has been broken. You open that door and it will stay open forever, and like you said, there goes another freedom lost. Well stated buddy!

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

Thanks Bill. It is this type of program being conducted without our knowledge that really upsets me. Being a government program, most likely nothing will ever be accomplished with the collected data anyway.

I appreciate you stopping by.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

It was far worse than just an impairment test. In Fort Worth, they were also asking for DNA samples. Roadblocks were set up and drivers were forced into a parking lot where they were pressured to give samples. They were even offered money!

This too was a federal program out of the Obama administration.

tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

This is no big deal, just wait until Obama declares Marshall Law - can't pinpoint the time but I bet it will be before November 2016.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

Hey there WillStarr, great to see you. The DNA tests are a curious thing for me. Will we reach the day when DNA testing is mandatory and will be tied to of SS numbers? What is the connection between impaired driving and DNA? Hmmm, I may start a new conspiracy theory.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

tsadjatko - Unless he feels he will be replaced by puppet #2 that will carry on his mission. Then he will let it happen.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Will we reach the day when DNA testing is mandatory and will be tied to of SS numbers?"

It's already here. It's part of Obamacare, and we will have zero privacy if it succeeds.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

What a stupid and completely vile program. I would be the person screaming her head off. I can understand pulling over a driver who appears to be impaired. I don't approve of anything random. The same philosophy is used by the TSA. Just keep things random and no one can say they were targeted. Have we completely lost the ability to do anything right? It would seem so. Up, interesting and useful.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

WillStarr, will that include planting a GPS tracking chip in our neck or am I getting too far out there now?

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

Patti - Thanks for stopping by and I agree with your comment. I have no idea what the government would do with this information anyhow. Perhaps they would tie it in with our medical records if they ever get the website to work.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

Dear Mike,

Perhaps the government would use this info against us should we dare to criticize the Obama Administration.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

Patti, that is not a problem for me as I would never, ever, in a million years even consider criticizing the stellar performance of this administration.

Hxprof 3 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

What will be interesting to see is the response when someone in the remaining 60 cities politely refuses to submit to the 'voluntary' sampling. I'm just waiting for that....heck, it could be you or me!

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

Hxprof - You're correct, it could be you or me who is caught in one of these random samples. Nazi Germany would have been proud of our government and could possibly have learned a few things.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

If ANY police want to search you or your car, you need to INSIST on a warrant and a legal representative first. Never consent to anything unless a qualified lawyer tells you that you have to.

If you are stopped for speeding, never admit guilt. Well, never admit guilt EVER. But the traffic cop will always ask, "Do you know why I stopped you just now?" The answer should ALWAYS be, "No, I do not". If you say yes, you are admitting guilt!

From that point on, you should only answer with yes sir, no sir. Never attempt to explain yourself. Never say anything if you can help it. Cops are trained to use it against you.

Now, as far as comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany - that is just so wrong. The Nazis you are talking about were military units trained to harass and kill their own citizens. I doubt very seriously that our country has sunk that low.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

Austinstar - All excellent advice and it is appreciated.

My reference to Nazi Germany was due to programs such as this one that is in direct violation of our rights. If they can fund and operate programs like this one without approval, what else do they have going on we are no aware of?

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

The random traffic stops have been approved by the courts, so they are not violating your rights. It's people that say things like, "it's ok to check for drunk drivers" or "it's ok to to do drug testing on innocent people just because they're looking for work" or 'it's ok for our government to listen to phone calls as long as they're just looking for terrorists". These are the kinds of things that people agree to and therefore, WE are the ones giving up our freedoms. G.W. Bush set up homeland security to "protect us" right?

Unfortunately, we cannot have our cake and eat it too. We have to pay for freedom with government intrusion into our lives. Which is not freedom at all.

So, I recommend that people learn the difference between actual privacy and what 'freedoms' you are willing to give up for privacy. There is going to have to be a line drawn somewhere.

Unfortunately, it may be too late already. 1984 is here to stay.

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 3 years ago from Arlington, TX

I live out here as you know Mike and this went well beyond any road side safety checks I have ever seen. Voluntary? In a pig's eye they were voluntary.

The Frog

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

Jim, the sad thing for me is that so many just see no problem with things like this. We really are turning into a nation of sheep easily led around by our nanny government.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"WillStarr, will that include planting a GPS tracking chip in our neck or am I getting too far out there now?"

The NSA is already tracking our cell phones:

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

WillStarr - I just read where they used recorded cell phone conversations to determine which states residents swear the most when talking on the phone. They didn't say how much we paid for this study, or what value would be derived from the results of the study.

I can't imagine how my life would be improved by knowing what state uses swear words the most when talking on the phone. Perhaps they plan on enacting a swear word tax sometime in the future?

geordmc 3 years ago from Beliot, Wisconsin

Why not, free speech is about gone anyway, what with having to be "politicaly correct" all the time.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

Excellent technology exists around devices that prevent drunk drivers at least starting their cars. This would seem the best way to combat the problem and beneficial for all parties. I think alcohol intake is the biggest problem on the roads.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

Bob, I read recently that people with these devices in their cars have found a work-around. Now when they head out to the pub they just leave their cars running until they are ready to drive home.

You are right about alcohol being a big problem on the roads, especially around this holiday season.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

This is complete entrapment, but it doesn't surprise me at all. Yes we are slowly giving away all of our freedoms, and very few people seem concerned about it at all. Great hub!

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 2 years ago from Rural Arizona Author

Thanks Mel, when freedoms are lost slowly over a period of time we don't seem to pay attention. It would only be when people lost two in a row fairly quickly that they would take notice.

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