The Supreme Court has held that asking someone for a urine sample is an intrusive search and, therefore, needs a warrant from a judge.
What happens if a person can’t or won’t provide a sample even with a warrant?
The Sioux Falls Argus Leader has the answer in its article today:
A mesh bag blurred Dirk Sparks’ vision.
He lay hooded and handcuffed as four police officers pinned him to a hospital exam table.
Through the patterned light, he saw a fifth officer filming the procedure.
His pants were loosened and pulled below his waist.
A nurse at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre inserted a pencil-sized tube into Sparks’ urethra to drain his bladder. Moments later, an officer with the Pierre Police Department held a cup of Sparks’ urine that soon would be sent off for drug testing.
It’s all legal in South Dakota and other states — so far — and not limited to adults. A three-year-old boy was forcibly catheterized in a child welfare investigation, the ACLU contends.
Kirsten Hunter said her 3-year-old son, Aksel, was forcefully catheterized at the Avera hospital in Pierre in late February after her boyfriend failed a urine analysis. Authorities wanted to have her and her two children tested to see if they also had drugs in their system.
Pierre police officers and a Department of Social Services employee showed up at her home and said if her kids couldn’t produce urine, they would be taken from her. Hunter said her son isn’t potty-trained. So while she and her 5-year-old daughter were able to provide a urine sample, her young son couldn’t.
He was held down and forcibly catheterized by nurses.
“They just shoved it right up there, and he screamed so bad,” Hunter said. “He’s still dealing with a staph infection, and we are still giving him medication.”
Just about everyone in the several scenarios the Argus Leader documented — police, hospitals, and the judge who signed the warrant — refused to comment on the practice.
The newspaper reports that members of the South Dakota’s legislative judiciary committees said last year they see no reason for legislation to end the practice.
(h/t: Paul Tosto)