Shock video out of Georgia shows police strapping down citizens accused of drunk driving before using a needle forcibly draw blood as the victim screams, “what country is this?”
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The policy of police obtaining a warrant to draw blood from those merely suspected of being drunk at a DUI checkpoint or a routine traffic stop has been in place for years across many states, but to actually see it in action is disturbing.
The clip shows individuals being strapped down on a padded table at the Gwinnett County jail. Even those who show no resistance whatsoever are forcibly restrained and have their heads pressed down by an officer using his elbow.
“We all are American citizens and you guys have me strapped to a table like I’m in Guantanamo f***ing Bay,” complains another victim of the blood draw.
Mike Choroski, the man seen screaming “what country is this” as officers hold him down and take his blood without consent, is still awaiting trial, claiming that he is not guilty and there was no accident involving his vehicle.
“I’m a taxpaying American who refused something….I refused to do this….what happened to me in that room was unnessesary and nobody should have to do that,” said Choroski.
“Holding down and forcing somebody to submit to this is really intrusive in terms of that level of invasive procedure into someone’s body is ridiculous for investigating a misdemeanour,” Attorney David Boyle told Fox 5 Atlanta, describing the forced blood draws as an “unreasonable search” under the 4th Amendment.
Despite the fact that citizens can lose their drivers license for a year if they refuse a standard breathlyser test, cops can then get a warrant to forcibly draw blood, “for every DUI stop, even if there’s no accident or injury.”
In Gwinnett County, Georgia police have carried out more than 100 forced blood draws since January.
“I’m stunned, I did not know that this was legal, I did not know they could take your blood without your consent,” said a Fox 5 anchor in response to the clip, opining that the process was a violation of the 4th Amendment.
Georgia is one of numerous states that enforce “no refusal” checkpoints where police can forcibly draw blood. In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that it is not unconstitutional for the state to hold down Americans and forcefully withdraw blood. A January 2013 ruling affirmed that a warrant must be obtained for the process, although police could dispense with the warrant requirement in an “emergency”.