Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a survey on drug and alcohol use among Americans in 60 cities, testing random motorists. Many of those Americans are furious over the methods that were used for the testing. Many motorists will be outraged to find that they were screened for DUI before they even consented to the test.

Broadly, the methods that are used in the survey, the National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, involve police stopping motorists at roadblocks. Motorists are ordered into the roadblock area without informing them about the purpose of this, and federal contractors working for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ask them to participate in a drug and alcohol use survey. Motorists may be asked for their breath, saliva or blood samples, and maybe offered cash gifts of between $10 and $50 for body fluid samples.

The federal administration goes to great pains to insist that participation in the survey is entirely voluntary, and that drivers have the right to refuse to give samples if they don't want to participate. While drivers are not charged with DUI if those tests are found to be positive, many of them do find that these tests are intrusive, very invasive, and very often leave them feeling trapped in a roadblock.

For years, the survey has been conducted, and there has been little complaint from drivers, until last year when the survey was conducted in Texas. According to documents from the federal administration that were recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, at several of these roadblocks, a passive alcohol sensor was used to collect air from 6 inches in front of the motorist’s face. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been using such methods for decades to actively accumulate alcohol use data.