Rep. Gosar Passes Amendment Protecting Civil Liberties
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steven D. Smith Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after passage by the full House of Representatives of his amendment to prohibit funds for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Roadside Survey:
“I am pleased my colleagues recognized the dangerous manner in which this 'voluntary' survey was being administered and passed my amendment to protect the civil liberties and the privacy of American citizens throughout the country.
“The implementation of last year’s National Roadside Survey looked and acted like a police checkpoint and used uniformed officers to pull cars over to take blood alcohol readings. Typically, a researcher then approached the driver and violated the driver’s privacy by taking a passive alcohol sensor reading before the driver agreed to participate in the survey.
“Our courts have historically allowed police checkpoints only when there is a compelling public safety justification—such as stopping and arresting drunk drivers. Given the circumstances of this survey, there is no public safety justification that would warrant this sort of checkpoint stop. This amounts to an invasion of privacy, a violation of the Fourth Amendment, and a dereliction of duty to protect the public. Last year’s survey squandered almost $8 million dollars of taxpayer money and did nothing to make our communities safer.
“We must also remain vigilant in our defense of liberty and the Constitution and that is exactly what I will continue to do during my tenure in Congress.”
Passive alcohol sensors are small electronic units used to detect alcohol and are usually built into police flashlights or clipboards.
Rep. Gosar’s amendment was attached to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD), and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 which passed the House 229-192.
Congressman Gosar spearheaded a letter in March to the Chairman and Ranking Member of both the House Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development making them aware of this issue. The Congressman was joined on that letter by Congressman John Duncan Jr. (R-TN), Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Scott Perry (R-PA). That text of the letter can be found HERE.
Congressman Gosar’s speech on the House floor supporting his amendment can be found HERE.
The text of the amendment can be found HERE.