Pub customers happily line up for drug testing

Police in Bicester set up a drug testing station in a pub, and swabbed the palms of every customer before they were allowed to enter. The swab was checked for drug residue. Anyone who tested positive was searched on the spot for possession of drugs. 150 people submitted to the test.

The police explained that it was part of a crackdown on violent street crime. But for some reason, they did nothing to stop the patrons from ingesting the drug that the pub was selling -- alcohol -- which is often found in the bloodstream of people who commit acts of violence.

The detective in charge said: "The public were very supportive. Many people were saying they wanted to be tested.

200709201051 The pub managers barred anyone refusing to co-operate with the test from entering.

Det Sgt Steve Duffy, of Banbury CID, said two people tested positive and were searched but not found to be in possession of drugs. advertisement

The pair were then banned from entering the pub, but not arrested.

Mr Duffy said: "It went very well. We gained the full co-operation of the management and the customers.

"Everyone was very supportive and compliant.

"We swab people's hands and then that swab is placed into the equipment and it gives a reading of the level of drug residue.

Link (Via Reason Hit-and-Run)

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  1. Huh. Interesting. I can only imagine that they were doing it at the request of the pub owners, who were perhaps tired of druggies coming in and snorting coke in the bathroom (which is precisely what people would do at a bar I used to go to a lot). There’s no way they could just tromp in there and set up the operation without permission, surely.

    I guess it’s the business owner’s right to say, “No shirt, no shoes, any trace of drugs, no service” and the police were probably gleefully happy to help him out with that request.

  2. How long until drug testers are built into doorknobs, steering wheels, and computer mice?

    And you know, you could probably get good DNA and drug test samples from the dried saliva on used postage stamps removed from envelopes.

    I cringe to think what the world will be like in five or ten years.

  3. Awww, such good little children. Smile for the surveillance cameras while you’re at it, suckers.

    Still, this is much less offensive to me than workplace and pre-employment drug testing, which is far more coercive, since it’s easier to find another pub than it is to find another job.

    But, hey, if you object to the police constantly demanding to invade your privacy to the extent of nosing around in your bloodstream, you must be a criminal or have something to hide, right?

    These folks are the British equivalent of the complacent consumers who don’t mind being fingerprinted at DisneyLand.

    It seems the people who are most vocal about not being criminals and having “nothing to hide” are the most willing to be treated like criminals. Kind of ironic.

    Shame on that pub’s management and shame on the customers who submitted to that kind of treatment.

  4. Is this the same equipment that was so sensitive that it picked up drug residue on several lawmaker’s hands?

  5. Well, it’s also possible that the pub management arranged this because of a large number of complaints from his customers. “Listen, George, this is the 5th time I’ve walked into the bathroom and there was a strung out heroin user laying on the floor. You’ve gotta do something about this.” Maybe people have been conducting drug deals right there at the bar and driving off his customers.

    It’s also possible that there’s a high rate of drug related crime in the area and people are happy to see the police doing something about it and will gladly get tested if it means they’re less likely to be mugged on the way home that night by a drunken crack addict.

    Don’t assume people are sheep simply because there’s a law they’d like to see enforced.

  6. Some drunks are so smug about not doing “illegal” drugs that I can imagine them ligning up to proove their loyalty to one substance.

  7. “Maybe people have been conducting drug deals right there at the bar and driving off his customers.”

    If you think the proper response to that is to swab every customer who comes in, then you are as deluded as they are.

    Do you think that the crack addicts in the neighborhood were among the people that were swabbed? Do you think that keepng the crackheads out of the pub makes the streets more safe?

    If that’s the police’s idea of combating violent drug-related crime, it’s no wonder they’re not making a dent.

    Of course, swabbing the law-abiding who line up for the priviledge is so much easier than actual police work, which might be dangerous or uncomfortable.

    Baaaa!!!

  8. Nobody has to go to disneyland. Nobody has to go to this particular pub.

    I’ll start to worry when this starts showing up at all theme parks, at every place with a liquor license.

    Even if the test isn’t mandated by law, that doesn’t mean it won’t become nearly universal, just like pre-employment drug screen in the USA is all but universal among Fortune 1000 employers, and according to the American Management Association, nearly 100 percent of Fortune 500 companies conduct pre-employment and random drug tests on employees.

  9. I love how the standard assumption now with law enforcement is that we are all criminals. People are lining up more then happy to PROVE to the world they are good little citizens.

    This whole thing disgusts me.

  10. I’ll start to worry when this starts showing up at all theme parks, at every place with a liquor license.

    In other words, when it is too late.

    As it is, drug tests are so sensitive that they can detect drug residue on most paper currency–that is, there is probably detectable drug residue on the money in you wallet right now. Considering the current state of abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws in the US and of draconian criminal anti-drug laws, just about anyone could be arrested for drug possession. If the British cops had tested cash instead of hands, it is possible that nobody would have gotten into the bar.

  11. Want to get rid of drug-related crime? Legalize recreational drugs and make drug addiction a medical problem, not a criminal offense. But a lot of government agencies and police departments would get their budgets slashed, so don’t hold your breath…

  12. “There’s no way they could just tromp in there and set up the operation without permission, surely.”

    Yes, it must be uncosntitu… oh, right.

    The Brit’s are “subjects” of the monarch. This does actually mean they have rights only at the discretion of the executive.

    and it does explain both Concord and Lexington.

    As for the swabs and tests… holy beejeebus.

  13. @mdhatter:
    “The Brit’s are “subjects” of the monarch. This does actually mean they have rights only at the discretion of the executive.”

    As someone who has lived in both the US and the UK, I feel my rights were much more protected in the UK. The monarch is a symbolic figurehead, and in no realistic way are British citizens her “subjects.” The Queen gives speeches, makes diplomatic appearances, appears on postage and coins, and that’s about it – she does not create and destroy laws at a whim.

    And it’s not like the US Constitution really makes American’s rights unassailable. Fourth Amendment, anyone?

  14. I’ll bet you anything those whose tests came up positive were entered into a government data base, where that info will come up if they apply for a job, or a loan, or a passport, or god knows what else.

  15. Are those accurate enough to pick the cocaine remains of the average $1 to $20 bills in circulation?

    I think I still would have walked to another pub, out of principle.

  16. @christovir

    I’ve heard the same, but when your ‘rights’ are infringed, on what legal basis can you claim it?

    You may have ‘felt’ like your rights were more protected, but that’s only because the british police mostly don’t carry guns and so mostly don’t act like cockheads.

  17. @christovir

    I’ve heard the same, but when your ‘rights’ are infringed, on what legal basis can you claim it?

    You may have ‘felt’ like your rights were more protected, but that’s only because the British police mostly don’t carry guns and so mostly don’t act like cockheads.

  18. “Maybe people have been conducting drug deals right there at the bar and driving off his customers.”

    This is Bicester for god’s sake, not west Baltimore. It’s a sleepy little town in Oxfordshire. To which you clearly have never been.

  19. Heroin is bad, so they crack down on pot users.

    Drinkers who cheerfully allow drug testing are just saying, “I’ve got mine!” They probably think it’ll never be taken away from them, because Prohibition didn’t work.

  20. The rights of British citizens are protected by various acts of Parliament, as well as common law created through the historical conventions of the judiciary, but there is no single documents that presents all of these rights in one list. If someone’s rights are violated in the UK, they can legally appeal these through the courts just as much as someone could in the US. But as always, popular support usually matters more than the official wording of the laws.

    I would add that many people in government do consider that Britain has a Constitution – just not a written one. I do hear the phrase “British Constitution” and “Constitutional Norms” on news shows fairly regularly. Gordon Brown has been talking about codifying this in to one written document for a few months now.

  21. “Even if the test isn’t mandated by law, that doesn’t mean it won’t become nearly universal, just like pre-employment drug screen in the USA is all but universal among Fortune 1000 employers.” (#9 Kevin)

    Right. And among 50% of the other companies in the US. And it’s a fucking disgrace in a country that calls itself The Land of the Free.

    http://www.aclu.org/workplacerights/drugtesting/index.html

    ***

    “I’ll start to worry when this starts showing up at all theme parks, at every place with a liquor license.”(#9 Kevin)

    “In other words, when it is too late.” (#10 Skep)

    Thank you, Skep! That’s the point, innit?

    ***

    “Want to get rid of drug-related crime? Legalize recreational drugs and make drug addiction a medical problem, not a criminal offense.”

    I couldn’t agree more. And not every drug is addicting, or any more of a health issue than that cheeseburger you just had. The one with bacon on it. Marijuana, at the very least, should be legalized the world over.

    http://norml.org/

  22. This is disgusting. I will never submit. You scabs and serfs laying down and dying are ruining the world. Forget the petty tyrants who are instituting these tests, it’s us, everyday who are caving in instead of revolting. I fear for my children. Instead of your fabulous singularity coming, what’s coming is the status of human beings as thinking animals will be over, reduced to slaves, no longer human.

  23. If you come up with a positive result when being tested like this (swab on hands) simply tell the officer that you handle cash as part of your job.

    Then proceed to enter the pub and get off your mash on ecstasy pipes.

  24. “It gives us an indication of drug activity and where it’s taking place.”

    It’s clearly not taking place in the Litten Tree in Bicester on a Friday night.

    Strange that the two who tested positive but weren’t in possession were still banned – even though this demonstrates they weren’t going to use drugs inside the premises. Why would the pub care that somebody had (supposedly) used drugs outside the premises?

  25. Great, maybe we can expand this. Make random spot testing for drugs mandatory everywhere! No test? No license, no job, no purchases. Utopia, here we come!

    Why are people so eager to be enslaved?

  26. …and then they didn’t let the people who tested positive in anyway, even after they were searched and found not to be carrying.

    What a crock of shit.

  27. @Gilbert Wham

    Spend a lot of time in West Baltimore, do you?

    Nowhere in the UK you could make fun of?

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