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Fri December 16, 2011
Livonia settles suit challenging teen's alcohol breath test
The city of Livonia has settled a lawsuit involving a 13-year-old boy who was forced by police to take a Breathalyzer test.
The middle-school student was with classmates on a field trip to a Livonia park in June. Some of the kids went into the woods for a walk. They were followed by an assistant principal, who accused them of drinking after he found an empty liquor bottle on the ground.
The students denied drinking, but police were called and the teens were forced to take a breath test, without their parents' consent.
American Civil Liberties Union attorney Dan Korobkin says that should not have happened.
"They blew a zero," Korobkin says. "But they should never have had to prove their innocence at all, because under the Constitution, you can't be made to take a Breathalyzer test without a court order."
Korobkin says Livonia has agreed to issue a policy for their police officers that clearly spells out the law and to remove the boy’s name from police records.
He adds, however, that suspected drunken drivers can be made to take breath tests.