Federal roadblocks set up to swab your DNA for research

saliva swab
Photo Credit: Mediscreen

My heart goes out to the uninformed masses that wouldn’t know to tell the feds to go take a hike if they were stopped at roadblocks and asked to give blood and saliva samples for federal research.

According to CNN, this attempted invasion of privacy is happening all over the country as roadblocks are being set up to ask drivers for their DNA as “[p]art of a national study led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is trying to determine how many drivers are on the road with drugs or alcohol in their systems.”

In Alabama, off duty cops flagged down drivers and sent them over to “federal highway safety researchers” who conducted the survey and offered drivers $10 for saliva samples and $50 for blood samples, CNN reported.

Mind you, the NHTSA claims taking part in the survey is “completely voluntary.”

According to the article, the agency said:

The survey provides useful data about alcohol and drug use by drivers, and participation is completely voluntary and anonymous. More than 60 communities across the country will participate this year, including two Alabama counties, both of which also participated in the previous survey in 2007. NHTSA always works closely with state safety officials and local law enforcement to conduct these surveys as we work to better inform our efforts to reduce drunk and drugged driving.

One of the police officers in Alabama, Bibb County Sheriff Deputy Kevin Lawrence, reiterated to CNN the survey was voluntary. “Nobody was made to participate or anything like that,” Lawrence said. “They could just answer the little 10 survey questions and then leave, or they could answer the questions and give the mouth sample, or they could do it all.”

How about not answering the questions at all and driving away out of Big Brother’s grasp? That would be my option, possibly tossing colorful, four-letter adjectives and hand gestures out the window.

Surprisingly, Alabama’s Republican Gov. Robert Bentley’s office was never informed of these roadblocks, he said on a radio program, CNN reported. He said conducting the survey now was “bad timing” in light of the NSA and IRS scandals.

Susan Watson from Alabama’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union also weighed in on what she called an “abuse of power.”

“How voluntary is it when you have a police officer in uniform flagging you down?” Watson told CNN. “Are you going to stop? Yes, you’re going to stop.”

And what about those imbeciles who participated in the survey while under the influence?

“Deputies were told they were not to make arrests,” Lawrence said. “If a breath sample indicated that a driver was legally intoxicated, ‘The organization would handle them as far as a ride home,’” the report said.

According to the NHTSA, these federal roadside surveys wanting your DNA may be coming to your town soon.

More from CNN.


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