Wrongheaded roadblock raises eyebrows

By Terry Scuton, "Land Line Now" senior correspondent

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration made national headlines recently when stories of roadblocks and authorities taking blood and DNA samples began popping up all over the place.

Turns out the roadblocks were set up as part of a joint survey between NHTSA and the Office of National Drug Control Policy to gather information about drugs used by drivers. The drivers passing through the inspection point were asked if they wanted to participate in the survey. If they said yes, they were moved over to a separate area where the samples were collected.

Apart from the obvious flaw that anybody who is doing drugs isn’t likely to consent to such a survey, this presents a few problems. First, participating may be optional, but the roadblocks sure weren’t.

The biggest problem, though, with this method of collection may have been the timing. Coming shortly after the news breaking about the National Security Agency listening in on phone calls and reading emails, the idea of a government agency collecting blood and DNA samples by the side of the road sounds more than a little suspicious. LL