Why Random Drug Testing for Police Officers is Unconstitutional

Probable cause is an integral ideal of the justice system of the United States. The fourth amendment discusses undue searches and seizures as well as probable cause. Verbatim from the U.S. Constitution “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . .” The person’s right to be secure in their person guarantees, inalienably, that a person shall not be subjected to drug testing without the proper pretenses of probable cause. The fourth amendment also states that a warrant shall not be issued, except upon probable cause. Thus, subjecting drug tests to police officers without the benefits of probable cause is wholly and utterly unconstitutional.

We acknowledge that an officer under the influence of drugs would be potentially catastrophic. However, these incidents occur, most likely, in small and isolated patches. According to the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only .4% of 150,000 random drug tests in 2004 were positive. Such a level of threat does not justify the destruction of rights for a very large group of people. If such infringements were enacted on the police, other issues would manifest themselves. Lower morale and workplace unhappiness would be likely, as police would see themselves as being distrusted or disrespected. As evidenced in every day life, many would have thoughts of “Why are we being punished for something someone else did?” The vast majority of police officers take their jobs intensely seriously. These noble people do not deserve to have their rights violated due to the actions of a huge minority.

Also, great possibility exists that this complete disregard of fundamental probable cause would lead to much greater crises. It would set a precedent that probable cause, as well as other fundamental ideas of the United States government, can be circumvented under the right twist of circumstances. The United States Constitution was designed to be a rock-hard foundation for our United States government. It has been called the “supreme law of the land”, meaning that nothing supersedes it. If the Constitution is betrayed in this circumstance, the opportunity for other groups to disobey the Constitution in propagation of their agendas is opened. It is common knowledge that small issues often lead to larger issues and, as such, should be subdued immediately.

It is true that allowing drug tests without probable cause would produce several positive effects. However, the undermining of our Constitution is a much larger effect. Anything that is a detriment to the U.S. constitution, to any degree, is an attack on the very foundation of the United States of America. The founding fathers of this country intended for it to be a strong country that respected each citizen’s individual liberties and rights.