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Thread: Can police force someone to submit to a drug test?

  1. #1
    jennyred66 is offline Junior Member
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    Post Can police force someone to submit to a drug test?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?

    Ventura, CA


    My roommate was told by police that if she did not submit to a drug test that they would hold her down and make her submit by force. She wasn't driving, she's not on probation, no warrant and she was in her home.
    A friend of hers had been pulled over by police near our house and when they questioned her she said she was going to our house. Which she wasn't. The police then came to our house to ask my roommate if she knew the girl who had been pulled over. The cop came to our door and she consented to speak with him. .
    She went outside to talk to them and they said she looked high and arrested her. Her daughter was inside the house with me and we weren't even told?
    She refused to test because she felt they had no right to ask her to. That's when they said they would take her and hold her down to get it. It's not the first time I've heard of them doing this. She was in her home doing nothing wrong. The cop came to our door and she consented to speak with him. I was home so I know there was no warrant. I looked it up on public record too. I don't see how that is not a violation of civil rights. I could see if she was driving, on probation or had a warrant but none of those apply.
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Getting high is illegal.
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    I get the feeling there is much more to this story......
  4. #4
    HappyWanderer is offline Member
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    Stepping outside or even answering the door was a bad idea. It changed the rules between being in a public place and being in the home.

    I think taking blood is a search. The police can do searches when they have a good reason. (I think it's called probable cause.) They would have needed a warrant if she was inside her house unless it was an emergency. Outside, the internet does not give easy answers on if they would need a warrant or not. I would hope so. The police can use force to search. They can't use so much force that it would make you cringe. (I read again and again, "shock the conscience".) I don't know if they really needed a blood test to arrest her for being high. You see lots of times they arrest just because the person can't care for themselves and who show some signs of being high. But that's usually alcohol. It may be illegal just to be high on other drugs even if you can care for yourself. Driving is way different.
  5. #5
    jennyred66 is offline Junior Member
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    forced drug est

    That's what I thought as well. However, I looked her up in public access and she had no pending cases and no warrants. She has been in trouble in the past but has cleaned up. That is the only reason I'm helping her out and letting her stay in my home.
  6. #6
    jennyred66 is offline Junior Member
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    Wasn't high

    Thanks for your reply. She wasn't high she did submit to the test, obviously. They found no drugs in her system. It just doesn't seem right to me. Oh well. Thanks
  7. #7
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennyred66 View Post
    My roommate was told by police that if she did not submit to a drug test that they would hold her down and make her submit by force. She wasn't driving, she's not on probation, no warrant and she was in her home.
    Had she been arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance? If so, they can compel a blood or urine test. Usually it is blood if they have to force it. Inserting a catheter in an uncooperative suspect is rather ... eeew.

    She went outside to talk to them and they said she looked high and arrested her.
    That answers my first question. So, yes, they could compel a blood or urine test unless agency policy prohibits it. And, if they were planning to compel it, apparently policy does NOT prohibit it.

    The cop came to our door and she consented to speak with him. I was home so I know there was no warrant. I looked it up on public record too. I don't see how that is not a violation of civil rights. I could see if she was driving, on probation or had a warrant but none of those apply.
    The officers were where they had a lawful right to be, she even stepped outside, and they apparently observed the objective signs of her being under the influence of a controlled substance.

    She can always make a complaint to the agency if she feels the officers mishandled her situation. And, fi she feels she was falsely arrested, she could consider consulting an attorney to see if there is a case for a civil suit.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
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    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  8. #8
    ERAUPIKE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennyred66 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?

    Ventura, CA


    My roommate was told by police that if she did not submit to a drug test that they would hold her down and make her submit by force. She wasn't driving, she's not on probation, no warrant and she was in her home.
    A friend of hers had been pulled over by police near our house and when they questioned her she said she was going to our house. Which she wasn't. The police then came to our house to ask my roommate if she knew the girl who had been pulled over. The cop came to our door and she consented to speak with him. .
    She went outside to talk to them and they said she looked high and arrested her. Her daughter was inside the house with me and we weren't even told?
    She refused to test because she felt they had no right to ask her to. That's when they said they would take her and hold her down to get it. It's not the first time I've heard of them doing this. She was in her home doing nothing wrong. The cop came to our door and she consented to speak with him. I was home so I know there was no warrant. I looked it up on public record too. I don't see how that is not a violation of civil rights. I could see if she was driving, on probation or had a warrant but none of those apply.
    California Health & Safety code section 11550 makes it a crime to be under the influence of a controlled substance. If an officer believes, based on the available evidence, that you are under the influence of a controlled substance, then they have probable cause to obtain evidence by way of a search. A blood test has been ruled by the courts to be minimally invasive and they do not need a warrant to get a blood sample. They can force a blood draw without waiting for a warrant because the evidence they seek ( the drugs in your system, allegedly) may be out of you system by the time they get a warrant. This "exigency" allows them to obtain the evidence and force a blood sample. They must be able to demonstrate probable cause to obtain this sample. It's a higher standard than reasonable suspicion, but is not all proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Again Happy Wanderer you have addressed a situation that is way out of your scope of legal knowledge.
  9. #9
    printman31 is offline Junior Member
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    I would believe that because there was no crime this person was accussed of & the fact that she was in her home. There could be a 4th amendment issue.. That's just going off the very limted info you provided..

    This is similar to

    [url=http://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/testing/testing_law1.shtml]Erowid Drug Testing Vaults : Supreme Court : Ban Forced Drug Tests of Pregnant Women[/url]

    Just because there is a law about some issue doesn't mean the law is legal...
  10. #10
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Printman, in CA it is unlawful to be under the influence of a controlled substance ANYWHERE. Unless she was under the influence of her prescription dosage of medication, then she was potentially in violation of H&S 11550.

    Further, CA and USSC case law grants the authority to take the blood or urine forcibly so long as it is done in a medically approved manner and that the method of collections does not "shock the conscience" of the court. I can cite numerous cases, if you'd like.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  11. #11
    Joshuaace2 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    Printman, in CA it is unlawful to be under the influence of a controlled substance ANYWHERE. Unless she was under the influence of her prescription dosage of medication, then she was potentially in violation of H&S 11550.

    Further, CA and USSC case law grants the authority to take the blood or urine forcibly so long as it is done in a medically approved manner and that the method of collections does not "shock the conscience" of the court. I can cite numerous cases, if you'd like.
    Carl, does this mean anyone accused of DUI can be forced to submit to chemical testing? Here you can refuse as long as you didn't cause death or great bodily harm.

    I'd say that if someone were forced to submit to a blood test without a warrant, or pc supported by exigent circumstances that would "shock the conscience".

    My curiosity is piqued; I shall research further, lest I stick my foot in my mouth.
  12. #12
    dave33 is offline Senior Member
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    Well, obviously in CA. it is legal to compel a blood test. But come on, does anybody really believe that was the spirit of the constitution or the bill of rights? I realize that there is plenty of supporting case law and a statute that defines it as legal. I just cannot believe that Americans that believe in individual freedoms and rights could support such a blatant act against ones wishes. Besides taking a life, can you violate someones rights any more openly. I simply cannot fathom the logic . It must have been a very creative arguement to pass such a law,and still maintain that an individual has rights. I am sure I can't even begin to imagine the abuses that happen while enforcing this law. In my state this is not legal and when I realized it happened in other states and had been going on for some time it was a sad and disappointing day. That is putting it as mildly as I can. I do not feel that these new laws are constitutionally correct. I do not mean to ramble or sound like a nut job. Dave
  13. #13
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    I can't say that I agree that "looking high" establishes probable cause to make an arrest, especially if the arresting officer is not a DRE, but obviously there may be more to it than that.
  14. #14
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshuaace2 View Post
    Carl, does this mean anyone accused of DUI can be forced to submit to chemical testing? Here you can refuse as long as you didn't cause death or great bodily harm.
    Yes, in CA we can compel a chemical test. Even the USSC says we can compel a chemical test. However, it is the POLICY of a number of agencies NOT to compel blood on anything short of a felony. In your state, there may be a law prohibiting the forced taking of blood - but it would be a state law; it might also be a local policy or practice rather than law.

    I'd say that if someone were forced to submit to a blood test without a warrant, or pc supported by exigent circumstances that would "shock the conscience".
    The arrest requires probable cause to believe that the person is under the influence of a controlled substance. As such, there is probable cause to believe that the evidence is in his body. The exigency is that the body is metabolizing (i.e. destroying) that evidence each and every minute. Ergo, you have probable cause AND an exigency to justify the exception to the warrant requirement.

    And, no, "looking high" is NOT sufficient to establish probable cause. It should include the articulated, objective symptoms of being under the influence. And one does no have to be a DRE to make such an arrest, but it helps. I believe am the only DRE trained officer in my county, aside from one of the local CHP officers. But many officers have the lesser DAR class, or simpler still "11550 training." I used to be tapped by everyone to go out and bless their dope influence arrests ... now, thank God, they have enough people who are minimally trained to do the job.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  15. #15
    HappyWanderer is offline Member
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    If by outside my legal knowledge you mean I was wrong when I wrote:
    Outside, the internet does not give easy answers on if they would need a warrant or not. I would hope so.
    I'm not sure how that involves my legal knowledge, but legal hope. Anything else not precisely right in what I wrote? Don't use the word "again" until you have a first time.

    Besides, your legal knowledge comes from [url=http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/is-it-legal-for-an-officer-to-force-you-to-take-a--125093.html]Is it legal for an officer to force you to take a blood test when charged with H&S 11550 - under the influence of a contr. sub? - Criminal Defense - Avvo.com[/url]. Re-posting here without acknowledgment is a violation of copyright. When I try to look something up on the internet, I try for the answer and not what someone else wrote. That's the difference between facts and knowledge.

    I would love to see what happens if the police took blood because someone looked high. Especially when the blood test comes back with nothing. The cops are going to have to come up with some fancy dancing. They don't have to be right, they do have to have good reasons for thinking what they did.

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