June 8, 2016

Michigan high schooler stands against police bullyng


A high school student in Grosse Ile Township, Michigan, filed a lawsuit in federal court after a police officer cited her for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test without a search warrant.

Casey Guthrie is challenging a local ordinance and a state law that allow officers to perform breath tests on those under 21 if they have a reasonable cause. Under the Michigan Liquor Control Code, those who refuse to undergo the test are cited for a civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a fine of no more than $100.

The lawsuit comes out of an incident in May, when Detective Ken Pelland pulled over a vehicle Guthrie was riding in. Pelland asked those in the car to agree to a breath test to see whether or not they had been drinking. Guthrie refused, so Pelland wrote her a ticket.

Now she's arguing this ordinance is unlawful and a violation of the Fourth Amendment, as Pelland was not first required to get a warrant to conduct these tests.

"What's especially egregious is that police are intimidating teenagers into taking Breathalyzers and telling them, 'You need to prove your innocence,'" the gir's lawyer, Mike Rataj said. "That's not the way the criminal justice system works."

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