by Eli Stokols, News2
Highway checkpoint asks drivers for saliva, blood
Mon Sep 24, 2007 22:19


"The Charles Goyette Show" 1100 AM PHX AZ KFNX
Sheriff Bruce Hartman

Highway checkpoint asks drivers for saliva, blood
Motorists are angry over 'invasive' roadside survey

by Eli Stokols, News2

September 21, 2007

GILPIN COUNTY, Colo. (KWGN) — Some motorists, stopped here last weekend, remain outraged over being forced to participate in a supposedly voluntary roadside survey that aimed to study drinking and driving habits by asking drivers for breath, blood and saliva samples.

Click to see video:

Thursday, Gilpin County Sheriff Bruce Hartman publicly apologized to drivers for allowing his deputies to participate, even if most of the complaints were leveled at the surveyors who work for a private research firm.

"I am very sorry that people were treated poorly and I will do everything to ensure that that doesn't happen again," Hartman said.

At five spots alongside Colorado Highway 119, Gilpin County deputies worked to maintain traffic flow at the different survey spots. According to Hartman, deputies were not to talk to drivers at all. But some motorists say the deputies forced them off the road and into the surveyors hands.

"They kept stressing 'voluntarily'," said Soni Brosze. "But none of this was voluntary."

Brosze said he was handed a sheet of paper explaining the point of the survey and that his participation was voluntary and anonymous. But, he wasn't given time to read it as the persistent surveyor asked him to put out a cigarette and offered him $10 for his participation.

"That meant giving them a mouth swab," Brosze said. "Maybe I watch too many cop shows, but a mouth swab is what they use to set up a DNA file. They just weren't being honest about what they were doing."

At that point, Brosze refused to participate and drove away. Later that week, he went down to the sheriff to complain.

"One of the local individuals said it was like a high-pressure telemarketer that you couldn't hang up on," said Hartman, who has fielded at least five similar complaints this week. "Some of the conduct that people didn't like wasn't done by us, but we were there, and we need to make sure it doesn't occur again."

In hindsight, Hartman understands how his deputies' presence gave drivers the impression that their compliance was required, not requested--a point not lost on the ACLU.

"It's the kind of situation where you're being bullied into doing something that you wouldn't have stopped for if not for the sheriff," said Cathryn Hazouri, executive director of the Colorado ACLU.

At least 85 motorists took part in the surveys. Some gave breath or saliva samples; a few even donated blood, according to the sheriff. Residents said that those who gave blood were paid $65 each.

The research firm, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, which was working under the auspices of two federal agencies, is currently conducting an internal investigation of the incident in Colorado.

PIRE - Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Submit. PIRE Resource Finder Site Map Stay Informed Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center ...

Hartman said his department is also investigating the role deputies may have played.

"There are a lot of people quite outraged," he said. "We don't want that; they don't deserve that; that's why we're looking at everything so seriously."

Copyright 2007, KWGN

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A full video of the incident is available here. A transcript is provided below as the audio is at times very faint.
Article Excerpt:
Transcript of audio made by Brett Darrow:

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