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Kevin Yoder fined in 2009 for refusing Breathalyzer test

It is not against the law to drink and drive. It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater, or under the influence of alcohol to a degree that renders you incapable of safely driving, either of which the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt with no help from the driver. Most of the twenty-five thousand drivers leaving Arrowhead after drinking drove safely, as do most people who have had a drink or two. While you believe it should be against the law to drive after drinking any alcoholic beverage, the Kansas legislature, and the legislature of every other state, disagrees with you. Mr. Yoder was allowed to drive away because he was not under the influence of alcohol.

October 25, 2010 at 1:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kevin Yoder fined in 2009 for refusing Breathalyzer test

Why in this year of the Tea Party and the manifest distrust of goverment that it has exposed among many Americans going back to the Founders are you suggesting that we should cooperate with the government in investigations designed to lead to the filing of criminal charges against us?

October 25, 2010 at 9:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kevin Yoder fined in 2009 for refusing Breathalyzer test

Some of you are confusing the PBT with the Intoxilyzer.

The officer requested a roadside preliminary breath test, or PBT. The penalty for declining to take this test (as the officer is required to tell you before asking you to take it) is a traffic ticket. That's it. The officer did not ask Mr. Yoder to take an Intoxilyzer test at the station. The penalty for refusing to successfully complete an Intoxilyzer test is a one year or longer suspension of your driving privileges, after a hearing to determine if the officer had reasonable suspicion that you were operating under the influence of alcohol.

It is significant that the officer allowed Mr. Yoder to drive away from the speeding stop. This indicates that he did not have even reasonable suspicion that Mr. Yoder was driving under the influence of alcohol.

October 25, 2010 at 9:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kevin Yoder fined in 2009 for refusing Breathalyzer test

Mr. Yoder was stopped for traveling ten miles per hour over the posted speed limit on K-10. No big deal there. The officer thought he smelled the odor of consumed alcohol on Mr. Yoder's breath. Many people drive after having a drink or two. Twenty-five thousand left Arrowhead this afternoon. The officer asked Mr. Yoder to take a preliminary breath test, and Mr. Yoder declined the request. Perfectly within his rights. In fact, everyone who has had a drink or two should decline the preliminary breath test. It is so unreliable that Kansas courts do not allow the reading obtained to be admitted into evidence. The officer gave Mr. Yoder a citation alleging that Mr. Yoder had been speeding and had declined a preliminary breath test. Good police work. The officer then let Mr. Yoder drive away from the stop. Good for the officer.

The officer did not ask Mr. Yoder to have someone else come and drive his car. Equally important, the officer did not have probable cause to take Mr. Yoder into custody and ask him to provide a sample of his breath in an Intoxilyzer machine. If the officer had determined that he had probable cause to believe that Mr. Yoder's driving was impaired by alcohol, and if he had asked Mr. Yoder to take a test of his breath, and if Mr. Yoder had refused that test, Mr. Yoder would have been at risk of losing his driving privileges for one year. But that did not happen, because the officer did not believe that he had even probable cause to further detain Mr. Yoder at the roadside. So, the officer let Mr. Yoder drive away.

This is not a story about a DUI; it is about a speeding ticket and the exercise of Mr. Yoder's right not to take a preliminary breath test. Hell, I'm proud of the guy. He could have had his speeding ticket amended to a non-moving violation, as everyone else on this board would do. (Or has done.) Instead, he accepted responsibility for speeding and paid the fine. Refreshingly honest.

The United States puts thousands of its citizens at risk every day to protect our rights, including the right not to have our homes invaded without a warrant, or our right not to be arrested without probable cause. Remember, the Bill of Rights was enacted to protect us from the government, so don't criticize someone for exercising their (our) rights. We should criticize the people who submit to preliminary breath tests, or invited the police into their homes to search, or who say, "Okay" when a cop wants to look inside your car. Because if we stop exercising our rights, the government may think we don't need them anymore, and take them away. Think about that. We should celebrate this acknowledgement and invocation of the protections afforded to all of us. You can celebrate by declining a preliminary breath test the next time a law enforcement officer asks you to take one.

October 24, 2010 at 7:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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