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Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kline pursuing blood samples in alcohol-related accidents

April 12, 2007

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— Doctors and nurses who refuse to draw blood from unwilling patients involved in serious accidents suspected to be alcohol-related could face jail time under a policy being developed by Johnson County prosecutors.

District Attorney Phill Kline said his office would try to get a search warrant for the blood from a judge over the telephone. But if that wasn't possible within two hours of the accident, he said law enforcement would expect health workers to hand over the blood anyway or be arrested.

"My policy is, we are not going to back down," Kline said. "We are going to get the evidence."

Kline said state statutes back him up, and officials in other counties said they've used that justification in the past.

But some hospital leaders, while saying they are willing to work with Kline's office as best they can, said they are also bound by federal privacy laws that could prevent them from taking blood samples from patients who refuse treatment.

"We are working diligently to figure out a way we can meet the needs of law enforcement and comply with all regulations and standards," said Dennis McCulloch, a spokesman for the Kansas University Hospital.

The policy has its roots in a January traffic accident where a woman ran a red light in Overland Park and hit another car, seriously injuring two people. The police officer who escorted her to KU Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., said he smelled alcohol on her breath but the woman refused a blood-alcohol test.

Assistant district attorney Patrick Carney, who leads the county's traffic unit, said the office previously had a policy of trying to "coax" a sample from suspects but giving up if they refused. Officials would then attempt to get a conviction without the blood evidence, which was possible albeit difficult.

But Kline's top deputies, Eric Rucker and Stephen Maxwell, said state statutes required the blood be drawn within two hours of the accident. Hospital workers drew the blood, Carney said, but only after prosecutors got an oral warrant from a judge and had threatened the workers with arrest.

Carney said the woman's blood-alcohol level was 0.14 percent, or twice the legal limit, and she pleaded guilty on March 30. It was her fourth guilty verdict for driving under the influence.

Debra Vermillion of Shawnee Mission Medical Center said she was surprised the district attorney's office was still considering arrest, even if a hospital honored search warrants from a judge by phone.

She and McCulloch said their hospitals must abide by the Privacy Rule issued in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to implement the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as well as standards developed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations.

"They (patients) have a fundamental due process right to refuse medical treatment," Vermillion said.

Comments

Ragingbear 7 years, 3 months ago

Once again, Kline is trying to rewrite the constitution. Apparently that entire part about unlawful search and seizure doesn't count anymore. Apparently neither does the part that says that the government can't force you to perform illegal actions.

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KSChick1 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree Raging Bear. Well said.

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aeroscout17 7 years, 3 months ago

It isn't unlawful seizure. These are people who are in custody and do not have the same rights you and I have. Hate to say it, but I agree with Kline on this one; probably the only thing I have ever agreed with him on.

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aeroscout17 7 years, 3 months ago

They no longer have that right when they are in custody...

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aeroscout17 7 years, 3 months ago

Oops, I should continue; if they are in custody and not capable of making their own decisions (ie., drunk).

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aeroscout17 7 years, 3 months ago

BTW, this has been upheld by the US Supreme Court; Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757, 770-71 (1966). It is not a violation of the fourth, fifth, or fourteenth amendments.

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

Kline is a dumbass. Schmerber allowed the search under the thoery that because the alcohol would be metabolized there existed exigent circumstances.

This issue was revisited to an extent in Ferguson v. City of Charleston, 532 U.S. 67 (2001) and found to be unconstitutional, but there were key factual differences. It is notable that requiring surgery to obtain evidence has been found to be too much for the constitution to bear, but the very real dangers of infection are discounted in this situation.

In any event, it seems the issue being raised is not necessarily a constitutional one (although I would like to see the Court revisit Schmerber), but one of a confilct between the requirements of HIPAA and Kline's dictatorial reign of terror over Johnson County.

And by the way, "custody" does not equal "conviction." Rights remain. There is a limit in what presumed-innocent-people can be forced to do by the government, although Phill historically has a hard time recognizing what those limits are.

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ctrmhero 7 years, 3 months ago

People are missing the issue. If they get a warrant they are entitled to get the blood. The problem is that Phil said they would arrest medical personel for refusing to draw the blood. There is no legal basis in law for that threat. The only basis for arrest would be if the medical personel actually interfered with the officer doing something. Refusing to draw blood is not interfering. If they want the blood and the medical personel refuse there recourse is to draw it themselves. Not to arrest anyone.

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aeroscout17 7 years, 3 months ago

Refusing to draw the blood (with a warrant and requested by an LEO) is "obstruction of justice"; I have seen this exact scenario and charge before (although dismissed by the DA) "Obstruct" is most likely what they would be charged with. They are interferring if they refuse to follow a court order, which is for the most part, what a warrant is. I do agree, this does contrast with HIPAA. I smell a new Supreme case coming...

I know that custody does not equal conviction, however there are rights that are relinquished (temporarily)even while in custody.

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aeroscout17 7 years, 3 months ago

and BTW, I still agree that Kline is a dumba**

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

No they can't do that. Medical professional has to draw blood, right? Maybe Phill has a cousin who is a doctor that he can put on the payroll.

It is the threat portion of the article and the constraints created by HIPAA that makes Kline a dumbass - well that and his long history of dumbassedness - not the constitutionality question.

No doctor can be forced to establish a physician/pateinte relationship. If the doctor or other medical professional negligently drew the blood, e.g. used an old needle and caused a Hep infection, they could and should be held responsible. The state should not be able to force a medical professional to enter into that kind of relationship or bear those risks unwillingly.

Similar type of issue has arisen in states where a large portion of the medical community has determined that imntentionally killimg someone is not medicine and has refused to assist in state killings.

Ah, Phill. Brings a new dimension to the term "jack-botted thug," does he not?

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, I wasn't jumping you, Aero. Just pointing out that this is complicated and that people don't have to consent to anything just because they are in custody. It seems nobody realizes that they still has rights even though Joe Cop has decided he wants to stop them and chat.

On the other hand, I am not convinced the "obstruction" part is valid. If the doctor was willing to do it or if the blood had alredy been drawn, I can see how the warrant can be used to get the information or material. But if the medical professional refuses to conduct a medical procedure, I don't think that could be forced.

I would like to know if I am wrong, though. Any case cites would be welcomed.

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Jackalope 7 years, 3 months ago

Baille's analysis is correct. To go one step further, a LEO cannot force a doctor or nurse to draw blood if the person does not want to do the task, just as a LEO cannot force an innocent bystander to give a statement if the bystander does not wish too. This is so even if a search warrant for the blood is issued. The best an LEO can do is find someone who is qualified to do it voluntarily for them. In which case, if something goes amiss, the drawer of the blood is the agent of the LEO and the LEO's employer foots the bill. Good o'l Phill with two "L" is again trying to bully his way through the law. One good thing, though, with the sometimes confusing state of the law, good o'l Phill with two "L" is never confused as he does not pay any attention to the law in the first place.

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aeroscout17 7 years, 3 months ago

Good example Jackalope, thanks for the clarification Baille. Probably why the DA dropped the charges in the aforementioned scenario. Definitely a legally confusing scenario.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 3 months ago

I just mentioned the possibility, Baille, because I figured that would be the next idea someone came up with...that if the doctors and nurses refused to do it, someone would expect the LEOs to do it.

If they don't have a warrant, and the person refuses the medical procedure, then I don't think Kline has a leg to stand on. There are laws for doctors, too. They can't perform any kind of procedure on a person, even something as simple as a blood test, without that person's consent.

I didn't read anywhere in the article where doctors refused to take blood tests when there was a court order.

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Jackalope 7 years, 3 months ago

ONE MORE NOTE: It appears that goog o'l Phill with two "L" may be relying on an AG opinion issued by Bob Stephen in 1980, Kan. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 80-54, 1980, in which Bob conveniently ignored the word "may" in a revised version of K.S.A. 8-1001.

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grimpeur 7 years, 3 months ago

From the article:

"It was her fourth guilty verdict for driving under the influence."

How many more, people?

"Ohhh, but she needs her car for work/kids/school. We can't take her car/revoke her license/put her in jail."

The hell we can't. She should have thought about that before DUI.

You want to be helpful, Phill? Make sure this clown never drives again. Two DUIs ago.

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imastinker 7 years, 3 months ago

You need a reason to do a search, not a warrant. For example, if a cop sees something illegal in your car, he doesn't need a warrant to search it. He just needs a reason.

Here, the cop smelled alcohol on her breath and there was an accident. That's two pretty good reasons to suspect she's been drinking and driving.

I agree with Kline here.

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aeroscout17 7 years, 3 months ago

The warrant is just to protect law enforcement's case. Any time they can get one it just makes a stronger case in court.

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

"You need a reason to do a search, not a warrant. For example, if a cop sees something illegal in your car, he doesn't need a warrant to search it. He just needs a reason."

What? NO!!!

Look - you need a warrant to conduct a search. That is a constitutioonal requirement. That said, there are exceptions. Ya' got Terry searches, you got plain view issues that with an exeption can lead to a constitutional search, and you got various exigent circumstances where a search can be conducted constitutionally sans warrant.

But a warrant is the rule - it is not the exception.

Here you have alcohol on the breath and an accident - plenty to establish probable cause that had a crime had been committed and with probable cause one can get a warrant. Or in this case, since the evidence (the BAC) will be destroyed over a short period of time there exists an exigent circumstance recognized by law by which one can conduct a search without a warrant.

The warrant does not make a case stronger in court becuase it exists. It makes a case stronger because the evidence is admissible. Without the warrant or the exceptions, any evidence discovered during a search is not admissible.

And all of this is absolutely beside the point - you can't agree with Kline unless you know what the hell he is talking about, Stinker. And the issue isn't the constitutionality of the proposal, it is the conflict with HIPAA and whether medical professionals can be forced to perform unnecessary (or even necessary) medical procedures.

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aeroscout17 7 years, 3 months ago

Not to argue with Baille, but like I said, the warrant makes the case stronger in court. Even in a "Terry stop/search" or search incident to arrest, officers are encouraged to get a warrant if possible before doing the search for just this reason.

Again to reiterate Bailles's point, this really is a controversy between HIPAA and other aforementioned cases. The courts have upheld numerous times, in numerous states (including Kansas) "implied consent." In other words, if you are driving a motor vehicle you have already given consent to be tested. That is why if you refuse you lose your license.

The issue here is whether or not that means health care practitioners can be "forced" by the law to take your blood against your will.

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Ragingbear 7 years, 3 months ago

There is also a double standard here. If these medical professionals will get arrested for refusing to draw blood, then pharmacist that refuse to distribute the morning after pill should be arrested for the same thing. You better believe Kline wouldn't dare try to enforce that. Despite the fact that I am pretty sure his mother wished that she had aborted him many times.

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

If you have a warrant, then it isn't a Terry search. Terry says that upon articulable reasonable suspicion that an officer's safety may be in danger the officer can stop (seize) and conduct a limited patdown (search) of the person or search the immediate surroundings - like the area in a car accessible to the "dangerous" person.

"Our evaluation of the proper balance that has to be struck in this type of case leads us to conclude that there must be a narrowly drawn authority to permit a reasonable search for weapons for the protection of the police officer, where he has reason to believe that he is dealing with an armed and dangerous individual, regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest the individual for a crime. The officer need not be absolutely certain that the individual is armed; the issue is whether a reasonably prudent man in the circumstances would be warranted in the belief that his safety or that of others was in danger. And in determining whether the officer acted reasonably in such circumstances, due weight must be given, not to his inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or 'hunch,' but to the specific reasonable inferences which he is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his experience." Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 27 (1968).

This is one of the limited allowable no-warrant searches (and there are definite limits which officers may not cross), but once you have a warrant, you have gone beyond Terry. Also, a search incident to arrest is not a Terry stop either and has its own peculiarities.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 3 months ago

If the LEOs extracted the blood, and not medical professionals, then couldn't it be argued successfully in court that those LEOs, having no training in the procedure, and no license to practice medicine, somehow botched the procedure and made any results found inadmissible as evidence?

Just asking a question.

As for giving a blood sample without a warrant...even when in custody, a person can't be forced to talk to LEOs without an attorney present, if that is what they want. And if those LEOs attempt to question them anyway, any answers they give may not be admissible in court.

So how can they force a person to give a blood sample, even while in custody? They can't force them to talk.

Though that doesn't seem to be the case with that particular woman, just because you reek of alcohol doesn't always mean you've been drinking. Sometimes idiots spill it all over you while you're sitting at the bar having a Pepsi.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 3 months ago

No, Schmerber v. California does not address this situation. There, a physician was ordered to take a blood sample (the ONLY similarity) and did so. The defendant/patient later claimed that this violated his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination (unsuccessfully).

Here: 1. there is NOT a blood sample but the lack of one, 2. the objecting party is not the defendant, 3. and the issue is NOT the 5th Amendment.

Nor is Ferguson v. City of Charleston particularly useful. There, a program to detect "crack mothers" took urine samples (as part of their maternity exam) from ALL pregnant mothers and so lacked any probable cause whatsoever.

Here: 1. there is probable cause 2. there is individualized suspicion 3. the 'searcher' is being threatened.

There can be no searches without a warrant under the 4th Amendment with a very narrow window for "special needs." While complicated, the point is that searches where the government has interests BEYOND LAW ENFORCEMENT may be allowable if those interests are extraordinarily important. E.g., an imminent bomb explosion, or even a search of a computer of a government employee. Bottom line: if such searches could be done without search warrants then there would, in short order, no longer be any effort to obtain search warrants.

Here, Kline is just an incompetent and inexperienced criminal prosecutor who knows he must face voters in a year and a half. Kline is desperate to "max" his office's conviction record and is willing to toss the rulebook out the door to accomplish that.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 3 months ago

I should add:

The law already addresses this problem - testimony that such suspects refused to provide evidence can be introduced against them with a jury able to weigh that refusal. Also, the law provides for the suspension of a drivers license for those who refuse.

Finally, "It was her fourth guilty verdict for driving under the influence." The solution here is for the lawmakers (the Legislature), the criminal prosecutors (Kline), and the law system (the courts) to do their jobs competently -- not to deprive the masses of their constitutional rights to make up for their incompetence.

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

If the doctor consented, the blood taken would be admissible, James. Schmerber addressess the Fourth Amendment issue at 771-72.

A doctor, nurse or other medical professional has to take the blood, crazyks.

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dthroat 7 years, 3 months ago

Baille and James- obviously both of you are very up on th laws (and very acurate by the way), this discussion is not really addressing this issue.

Some hospitals will not draw blood (or do anything else) withour the patient signing THIER consent form. And it seems to apply (at least in Lawrence) even if a search warrant has been issued. The hospitals vary in their reasons (policy, HIPPIA, etc.) and that is where the disagreement happens.

Do the hospitals follow THEIR policy or comply with a COURT ORDER??

While I think Phill (2 ll) is an incompetent jerk, this in an on-going problem with law enforcement.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 3 months ago

Baille - I'll have to take your word for it. But here, the doctor isn't consenting so the case doesn't do much to clarify. There's all the difference in the world between a claim asserted by a criminal suspect and a claim made by a third party - one can't 'hijack' the rights of the other.

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree, James. There are a couple of conversations going on here - one addressing the search issue generally and one addressing the problems with Kline's latest misadventures.

Check out KSA 8-1001, dthroat. Specifically section (c), which states in part:

"When presented with a written statement by a law enforcement officer directing blood to be withdrawn from a person who has tentatively agreed to allow the withdrawal of blood under this section, the person authorized herein to withdraw blood and the medical care facility where blood is withdrawn may rely on such a statement as evidence that the person has consented to the medical procedure used and shall not require the person to sign any additional consent or waiver form. In such a case, the person authorized to withdraw blood and the medical care facility shall not be liable in any action alleging lack of consent or lack of informed consent. No person authorized by this subsection to withdraw blood, nor any person assisting in the performance of a blood test nor any medical care facility where blood is withdrawn or tested that has been directed by any law enforcement officer to withdraw or test blood, shall be liable in any civil or criminal action when the act is performed in a reasonable manner according to generally accepted medical practices in the community where performed. "

Again, this section addresses an issue where both the patient and teh medical provider agree and so isn't on point with Kline issue, but it does address in part the issue you raise. The HIPAA conflict remains, though. Kline has opened up a whole bunch of crap. Hope he has someone helping him sort through it all.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 3 months ago

dthroat - hospitals follow the law (and despite Kline's delusions, HE is NOT the law). Here, there are two key areas: (1) laws protecting patient confidentiality and records, and (2) laws that require patient consent to medical treatment - indeed, even touching. Absent a court order or patient consent, basically the hospital can't tell anyone else anything (with bureaucratic "grease" for insurance, billing, other medical facilities). Absent a court order or an emergency the hospital cannot force any patient to accept any medical procedure.

Thought of another way, the hospital has NO DUTY to comply with Kline's demands but they DO have a duty to follow a court order. Additionally, they have a DUTY to not interfere with law enforcement but refusing to basically "work for" law enforcement is not the same as interfering.

If a hospital wants to add their own procedural protections on top, that's fine, although not necessarily protected by law. Indeed, they may do so to protect themselves legally.

Again, this is typical of Kline's "ends justify the means" approach to almost any issue -- drunk driving, abortion, social policy, etc. It is, in a word, un-American: process and procedure MATTER. And there's no reason under heaven that Kline can't just follow the law as the system isn't supposed to be foolproof nor could any system be so without tossing civil rights out the window.

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dthroat 7 years, 3 months ago

God, I HATE thinking I am backing up ANYTHING Kline is doing. But that being said, I have had (previously) instances (not DWI, but sex cases) where the hospital has balked at fulfilling a court search warrant because that person (suspect) would not sign a HOSPITAL form. They claimed it didn't matter about the court order, it was their policy.

I just wish it was not Kline pushing this, but someone who has some credit.

I think this is the same thing, and it is not right they can refuse to follow a court order.

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Kathy Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

Baille:

I believe you are correct, but I worry about the loopholes in HIPPA allowing the release of certain medical information to law enforcement, but also wonder if the implied consent laws more than make up for that.

Jamesaust: I don't think unlawful search is the issue here, but even if it were, exigent circumstance(s) would make it a non-issue.

There are numerous articles and documented incidents out there on the dangers of Phelboto-cops (Edward Loss, III., P.C.)

Rather scary IMHO.

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Kathy Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

... and I have to ask, what will be next? Will this be like the boys from Brazil - will the dental drills be next if they don't get what they want?

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Jamesaust 7 years, 3 months ago

"exigent circumstance(s) would make it a non-issue."

I'm uncertain what is considered exigent here. There's no emergency that requires so exception to be created. We're talking about the passages of hours of time. There's no reason why a warrant cannot be obtained within that time frame. None. And, under the category of "nothing new under the sun" - there's nothing new about the situation Kline presents; he just doesn't like the rules.

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Kathy Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

I am not agreeing with Kline - don't get me wrong - I am playing devil's advocate here. I didn't mean to sound disagreeable really. Wouldn't a DUI and the effect the passage of hours would have on the results of a blood test be an exigent circumstance?

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Jamesaust 7 years, 3 months ago

And, under the category of "what next" I might add that in general - even with warrants - there is a "new" issue: how such records are kept, who has access, how long they're kept, what purposes they'll be used for, what if the person is released later without charge, or even found not guilty, etc.

Not only does this implicate even guilty person's privacy or even those merely accused - with police now using "close match" DNA analysis to find statistical relatives of suspects the privacy violations are potentially broad. Imagine being arrested on a murder charge because a DNA profile said you (or someone related to you - even if you didn't know such a person even existed) are likely to be a criminal - all based upon some government-kept database of blood samples collected from criminal, employment, athletic, scholastic (etc.) sources! Jeez, it really is "1984".

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Jamesaust 7 years, 3 months ago

Valkyrie - I don't think you're being disagreeable at all.

"Wouldn't a DUI and the effect the passage of hours would have on the results of a blood test be an exigent circumstance?"

I doubt it. Exigent circumstances would require something to be imminent. Alcohol leaves a person's blood on a measurable basis with the passage of time (although it varies based on other factors like food). While one may test "under" the alcohol limit, if sufficient time has passed, say four hours, that may still be introduced as evidence that a person, four hours earlier, would have been "over" the limit. No doubt, a defense lawyer would try to question how variable this process was (my client may have a thyroid condition!) but juries since the dawn of time have been able to weigh evidence like that just fine.

Again, properly conducted, there's no reason why a warrant cannot be obtained. Even then, the rights of the innocent outweigh any one-off situation (whatever bizarre circumstances might exist). Our system consciously accepts that some guilty people may walk free and that's because the NON-guilty have rights that cannot be easily trampled upon - the guilty walking free are merely parasites upon the innocent citizens who, in this case, are free of being compelled to submit to involuntary medical procedures without just cause. Phill can just get a warrant.

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

Which law, Pilgrim? I suggest you read it, read the fourth amendment, read the cases that address the underlying issues, and read the AG opinion that was referred to earlier in the thread. It would be nice if we could reduce the argument to "its the law," but it just ain't that easy.

Certainly under 8-1001, an officer can ask a health care provider to draw blood to be used to measure BAC. This is acceptable under the fourth amendment jurisprudence because there is the likelihood that evidence of a crime (still need probable cause, btw) will be destroyed with the passage of time. Schmerber.

The question is what happens when the medical providers refuse the officer's request. Not a court order, not a search a warrant based on probable cause - but an officers request. Seems to me that the officer can not force the medical provider to perform the medical procedure.

There are many reasons for this, but not least among them is that this forces the medical provider to accept the risk of performing the procedure in a negligent fashion, which would then open that provider up to a viable lawsuit for medical negligence.

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Jackalope 7 years, 3 months ago

I think part of the confusion in this area is a blurring of the concept that a search warrant (court order) is an order allowing the LEO to search or, in this case, take a blood sample. There never has been a search warrant directing a hospital to actually take the blood. It would be difficult to find a hospital in contempt of court when the order was not directed to the hospital. Search warrants are not designed to do such a thing.

Requiring a hospital to take a blood sample under penalty of law may or may not be a good legal conclusion in any one particular situation. But, the law simply does not require such as it stands, and making the law up as you go has proven to be extremely dangerious in an ordered society. Even so, there are those who feel, because of devine right or otherwise, that they are able to bully everyone dispite the clear statements of law or even absence of right in the law. Those are at best called "benevolent despots."

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

I think we are all missing the point. The overarching lesson to be taken from this is that the State of Kansas is much better off with Kline gone and our sympathies should be for the poor schmucks in JoCo who will be stuck with him for the next couple of years.

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Kontum1972 7 years, 3 months ago

COME ON 4TH DUI...damn good lawyer's or the gal has got some financial muscle, this stuff is not cheap!

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Crossfire 7 years, 3 months ago

Carney said the woman's blood-alcohol level was 0.14 percent, or twice the legal limit,

Neww Matth byy Phill Klline annd Comppany... 0.08 x 2 = 0.14

0.10 used to be the limmit before the madd mothers.

Phill is still ann iddiot...

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Kathy Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

Baille - you are right on the money.

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rhd99 7 years, 3 months ago

Hehehehehe, oh that Phil Kline, what a STUPID MORON! He forces blood alcohol samples from accidents involving drunk driving from beligerent motorists. You know something? That's as if KLINE himself is committing POLICE BRUTALITY! Thank God Kansas voted this idiot out of the AG's office!

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Crossfire 7 years, 3 months ago

If you stick a needle in someone with out their permission or a warrant I believe that is called battery. ...criminal act? ...more than one person involved in that act, conspiracy? ...a bunch of criminals commiting criminal acts, racketeering? Does the RICO Act apply to KKKlline?

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Crossfire 7 years, 3 months ago

Kllines lawyers... Kllines judges... Kllines jury... Kllines county... All the Right Minded Johnson KKKountians... Wonder how this trial will turn out.

Shades of Verne Miller.

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

Once again, rhd99, you miss the issue:

It is NOT that Phill is trying to force people suspected of drunk driving (with probable cause established) to give blood evidence. That is FINE! It is provided for by law. It has been found to be constitutional. It is FINE!

The problem is that he is trying to force unwilling medical providers to get the blood evidence and if they don't he wants to put the medical providers in jail. That is the NOT FINE part of this.

Thank God Kansas voted this idiot out of the AG's Office.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 3 months ago

I believe the real point is that even IF Kline has identified a valid problem the remedy lies with the Legislature, not extra-legal threats from Kline.

Here, the Legislature has already addressed the issue of vehicular suspects refusing such tests. If Kline feels that the Legislature's remedy (the introduction of testimony in court that the refusal was made) is inadequate then the road to change lies through Topeka.

Again, Kline has a pattern of trying to end-run around the law when its complex balancing of interests doesn't suit Kline's own ambitious ends. These issues didn't arise yesterday and generations of men and women far(!) wiser than Phill have crafted remedies that, whatever their imperfection, work.

To paraphrase B. Franklin: those who sacrifice liberty in the pursuit of an ever-elusive Justice will achieve (and deserve) neither.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 3 months ago

But if you change legislation to allow medical providers to perform procedures on people without their consent, even if for BAC, you will open up a whole can of worms for other things.

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rhd99 7 years, 3 months ago

Baille, thanks for clearing that up. I am glad we agree on this: THANK GOD Kansas voters finally woke up & realized what this creep really is & voted him OUT as AG.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 3 months ago

"you will open up a whole can of worms for other things."

All the more reason to retain the remedy of non-compliance as evidence at trial and a suspension of drivers licenses.

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Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

Glad you took that as intended, rhd99. I re-read it and thought it sounded kinda snotty. I didn't mean for it to come across that way.

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rhd99 7 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Baille. Look everyone, here is what I am afraid of in all honesty. I am afraid of vigilantes like KLINE who think they can take the law into their own hands as if someone did a fly-by-night inside job deal where the law gets changed WITHOUT legislative oversight. It scares me a bit. Kline's antics show why he is NOT good for Kansas law enforcement in ANY capacity. Too bad the JOCO Jokers don't get it.

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