Helping teens get out of trouble - Tucson Local Media: Opinion

Helping teens get out of trouble

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Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 4:00 am

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on an interesting case last week involving a Pima County teenager who had drug paraphernalia and was given a blood test by officers testing him for marijuana use after he showed up to school allegedly under the influence.

The then 16-year-old apparently consented to the blood draw. But, after being charged and taken to court, suddenly he felt he did not voluntarily consent. Somehow, police doing their jobs violated his rights. Never mind the fact that he and his friends showed up to school late after having admitted to smoking marijuana, allegedly having drug paraphernalia in his car and so on.

After a lengthy court fight, it went to the state’s top court. The main argument being that police shouldn’t have been able to draw the student’s blood without parental consent. Known through the court records as Tyler B., this now 18-year-old asked the state’s highest court to overturn the evidence because he, and not his parents consented to the blood draw.

The interesting thing about the ruling that was handed down on May 30 was not that the court really ruled on whether or not parental consent was needed, but instead that the young, scared student was handcuffed and basically told he had to submit a blood draw prior to his consent. That meant he did not consent voluntarily, which means he is now out of that legal trouble. Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall said he still may face the charges for having drug paraphernalia and whatever else can come with it.

The Arizona Supreme Court had to review the evidence and rule on whether or not a judge in a lower court acted accordingly with the law based on the evidence and circumstances. The court ruled the way they were technically supposed to.

But, here’s the question that continues to come to my mind – How in the world did this case get all the way to the Supreme Court? No 16-year-old is that well versed in the law. So, did his parents decide that because their consent was not sought that somehow their son must deserve to beat these charges?

We ask ourselves why this younger generation is so entitled, so disrespectful – here is a perfect example as to why. 

The blood evidence is now thrown out. Obviously the defense for Tyler B. wouldn’t have fought this hard if the alleged evidence against him had good results. His parents obviously wouldn’t be paying out all this money for a proper defense if he could beat the rap. Which, I will add he still hasn’t been found guilty of. And, if the Pima County Attorney’s office files more charges, those will still have to be proven.

Here’s the thing, in the future will Tyler B. and the others like him have any respect for the law? Any respect to the law enforcement officials working day-in and day-out to do their jobs? Why would they? They obviously have parents who do not respect the law. Why should the younger generation? In the future, when teenagers like this get in trouble – why worry? Mom and dad will just get them out of it. They will even take it to the Supreme Court.

While she’s now 18, I have a teenager. She’s been in my home since she was 15. I know my daughter is not perfect. However, as she and I talked specifically about this case, I told her matter-of-factly that if she had pulled a similar stunt at 16, I would have made her pay the price, taken the punishment and hopefully she would learn a lesson to not do such a thing again, rather than thinking she has no worries because mom and dad will take care of it.

For those not wanting this so-called “entitled” generation to get worse should stop making it where they have reason to feel so entitled. Tough love isn’t bad love sometimes.

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Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • LittleMissSunshine posted at 6:47 am on Thu, Jun 6, 2013.

    LittleMissSunshine Posts: 1

    [wink]

    Ms. Grimes,

    Please understand that as a former teacher of Kids and the Arizona Law I was disappointed with your article. Let me start with the end. This young student, Tyler B. is "entitled" to the law that protects all citizens. Yes, often times this makes LEA's work appear harder. But we have laws that protect us from unwarranted search and seizure which we need-especially after the patriot act - do everything from allow that right to errode. You chided his parents, but no where in your article did you speak to what the parents did as a consequence of his marijuana use. The authorities' over reach in taking his blood, and violating his rights is a different matter altogether than his mistake of substance abuse.

    I would tread lightly and fight viciously to retain my rights as they are granted to all citizens of this country regardless of age. Handing over your rights to authority only promotes a corrupted authority.

    Like you, I have young adults in my home also. However, I would defend their rights as a citizen as Tyler B.'s parents did for him, while also taking his substance issue problem on a different front.

    Also, I praise the future generation not as a generation of "entitled" generation but a generation that is managing to create solutions during a most adverse economic environment and keeping their wits about them and not wailing like cry babies. But yes, they are young and they need appropriate guidence, but not at the expense of theirs and our rights.

     

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