on June 12, 2013 in World News

Off-duty cops collect DNA samples at Alabama roadblocks

sobrietycheckpoint

Off-duty cops in two counties in Alabama spent the weekend collecting saliva  and blood samples from drivers at roadblocks.

According to Lt. Freddie Turrentine with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s  Department, drivers were asked to voluntarily offer samples of their saliva and  blood for a study being conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and  Evaluation.

The drivers were compensated for their samples.

“They’ve got big signs up that says ‘paid volunteer survey’ and if they want  to participate they pull over there and they ask them questions and if they are  willing to give them a mouth swab they give them $10 and if they are willing to  give them a blood sample they give them $50. And if they don’t do anything they  drive off,” Turrentine explained to The Daily Caller.

Turrentine said that St. Clair County had five roadblocks from Friday  afternoon through the early morning hours of Sunday. He added that Bibb County  also had roadblocks of this kind.

Turrentine said that Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs  asked the county to participate and that the funding for the study is coming  from the National Highway Safety Administration.

“What they are trying to do is 60 sites across the country,” he said,  explaining the study will be conducted from June to October and is meant to get  a better understanding of inebriation patterns. (SEE  ALSO: IRS seeks to buy hidden cameras, surveillance equipment)

“They are trying to get 75,000 participants with anonymous donations of blood  — and they don’t know whose blood or whose swab it is — and they are trying to  say, ‘OK, after this hour at night, out of these 75,000 people 10 percent of  them had alcohol in their blood or 12 percent of them had some kind of narcotic  in their blood. That is all they’re doing, for impaired driving,’” he  explained.

Turrentine said he did not know how many people deputies sampled over the  weekend but said that St. Clair County had completed its portion of the study  and would not be putting up more roadblocks of that kind. He added that this was  not the first time the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation had  conducted a study in the county. The last such test was in 2007.

The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation did not immediately respond  to request for comment, nor did the Alabama Department of Economic and Community  Affairs.

The incident did cause a stir on social media with people voicing  concern about the roadblocks.

Update — Tuesday 12:47 p.m. EST: After publication of this article,  Bibb County Sheriff Keith Hannah offered more details about the roadblocks in  his county Tuesday. Hannah told TheDC that there were five roadblocks in Bibb  County this weekend. He stressed that the samples were given voluntarily and  that this was not the first time the county had participated in a study of this  kind.

“It was a voluntary thing and they were compensated if they gave a DNA sample  or a blood sample. The study group compensated them for it. If the motorist  wanted to participate they could. If they wanted to go on, they were free to do  so,” Hannah said Tuesday.

Read more:  http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/10/off-duty-cops-collect-dna-samples-at-alabama-roadblocks/#ixzz2W0pSNLDb