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January 17, 2018, 02:02:31 pm
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Author Topic: Feds want police to draw blood  (Read 1680 times)
patric
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« on: December 15, 2010, 11:55:57 am »

There's no argument that getting drunk drivers off the street is a good thing.
Regular street patrols, along with citizens reporting via cell phones, is a good first line of defense, but the feds want to use this to open a can of worms that goes far beyond stopping drunk drivers.

With federal grant money, police in some areas are being trained to forcibly draw blood from citizens, using phoned-in judge's orders, granted only on the basis of a cop's suspicion.   


Announcing a "no refusal" strategy Monday as part of a holiday crackdown on drunken driving, LaHood said the federal government is advising law officers to use a search warrant to quickly obtain a blood test from drivers who have refused to take a breath test.
http://articles.cnn.com/2010-12-13/us/drunk.driving.crackdown_1_drunken-drivers-refusal-breath-test?_s=PM:US

When police officer Darryll Dowell is on patrol in the southwestern Idaho city of Nampa, he'll pull up at a stoplight and usually start casing the vehicle. Nowadays, his eyes will also focus on the driver's arms, as he tries to search for a plump, bouncy vein.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32824729/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

"I was looking at people's arms and hands, thinking, 'I could draw from that,'" Dowell said.
It's all part of training he and a select cadre of officers in Idaho and Texas have received in recent months to draw blood from those suspected of drunken or drugged driving. The federal program's aim is to determine if blood draws by cops can be an effective tool against drunk drivers and aid in their prosecution.



Texas Police Will Take Blood By Force in DUI Cases

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/06/651.asp

After completing a 20-hour training course, Dalworthington Gardens police officers have been certified to draw blood from any motorist whom they suspect of driving under the influence of alcohol. The small North Texas city joins three counties -- Montague, Archer and Clay -- which have recently adopted similar policies.

These jurisdictions are seeking to make drunk driving convictions less vulnerable to court challenge as mounting evidence shows breathalyzer machines can be inaccurate. Under the new policy, a suspect will be brought to a police station and asked in a videotaped interrogation to submit voluntarily to a blood test. If the request is refused, police will call one of the judges who have agreed to remain on-call to obtain a warrant. If approved, police will draw the blood, by force if necessary. Anyone who refuses a blood test, even if not convicted or formally accused of a crime, will surrender his license to drive on the spot and will not see it again for at least six months.

"It's kind of eerie," Frank Colosi, an attorney who works with the Fort Worth chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. "It's kind of grotesque that the government can come and take your blood."

Section 724.017 of the Texas code requires that, "Only a physician, qualified technician, chemist, registered professional nurse, or licensed vocational nurse may take a blood specimen at the request or order of a peace officer....'qualified technician' does not include emergency medical services personnel." Dalworthington Gardens believes their twenty-hour course meets this standard.




If it's OK to employ shoddy probable cause to forcibly test blood alcohol, then why not DNA? 
With only a 20-hour course, assaulting a citizen with a needle could become routine procedure for any number of field encounters. 
Using DUI fears to get the ball rolling was just cleaver social engineering.
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nathanm
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 12:12:58 pm »

That's not OK with me. Have you ever seen the arms of an IV drug user? That's what happens when people lacking the proper training stick needles in veins.

A good number of my family members are police officers, and there's exactly one of them that I'd trust to even be within 10 feet of me with a needle, and she's precisely the one who wouldn't be doing it, being a dog handler.
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Townsend
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 01:25:28 pm »

What if you claim to have HIV or another blood borne illness?
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patric
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 01:38:27 pm »

What if you claim to have HIV or another blood borne illness?

Good question.  You can already be charged with a felony if your blood gets on a cop.
...but the response could also be "That's ok, so did the last guy"...
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 01:57:54 pm by patric » Logged

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Conan71
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 01:52:25 pm »

I take a really dim view of drunk driving but this is no solution.  Cops need to be cops, not phlebotamists.
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Townsend
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 02:12:37 pm »

I take a really dim view of drunk driving but this is no solution.  Cops need to be cops, not phlebotamists.

There's the .25 cent word for the day.

Would you be able to sue for lack of swabbing?  "He endangered me to infection."
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 03:21:11 pm »

My attorney says to demand all the sobriety tests. Insist on the breathalyzer, demand to be taken to a hospital to obtain a blood sample and insist the provide you an opportunity to pee in a cup.

That way, when three different results show up, he can defend the differences and make the case that none of them are accurate.
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 03:26:16 pm »

Not a chance this will happen.  There's a lot that can go wrong when drawing blood, it's not something to be done in the field, especially when the guy/gal you are drawing from doesn't want to give you any.

I worked as a phlebotomist for a couple of years in college.  Worked for the Red Cross and for St. Francis Hospital.  If you draw blood 20 times a day for a couple of years you START to get good at it.  If you only do it once a week/month you're gonna suck, and in a litigious situation you're gong to do something that will get your @ss sued.  This is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

Broken needle
Hematoma
Infection
Hemorrhage
Air Embolism
Clot
Nerve Damage

. . .these are a few of my favorite things.

Phlebotomists, nurses, doctors, EMTs, and paramedics all carry malpractice insurance either individually or under a healthcare organization.  The police department would also have to take out a policy and the underwriter would make sure the cost reflected a very high risk (certain).

This too will not end well.
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Gaspar
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 03:37:35 pm »

My attorney says to demand all the sobriety tests. Insist on the breathalyzer, demand to be taken to a hospital to obtain a blood sample and insist the provide you an opportunity to pee in a cup.

That way, when three different results show up, he can defend the differences and make the case that none of them are accurate.

That is actually a very good idea.  Breathalyzer and blood ETOH tests have a very broad margin of error, and in many cases, depending on the subjects renal state, may provide very different results.  Blowing a .08 but registering far below that in blood alch is not uncommon.

Any variance between the tests opens the door for a competent attorney.

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nathanm
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2010, 03:42:14 pm »

My attorney says to demand all the sobriety tests.
Heh, mine says burp. A lot. Because the breathalyzer will get a bad reading, so they're supposed to wait a while after each burp before testing, and if they don't, there's a strong argument that the breath test was in error.
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Conan71
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2010, 03:51:44 pm »

Heh, mine says burp. A lot. Because the breathalyzer will get a bad reading, so they're supposed to wait a while after each burp before testing, and if they don't, there's a strong argument that the breath test was in error.

They can automatically suspend your license and say you were essentially creating a refusal to take the test.  Happened to a friend of mine who they said was not blowing hard enough into the breathalyzer.  That whole arrest was a screwy deal, the cops were waiting on him in his driveway.  He had words with an ex girlfriend at a bar, she called the cops and well, you can guess the rest. 
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nathanm
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 03:56:34 pm »

They can automatically suspend your license and say you were essentially creating a refusal to take the test.
Sometimes I think I prefer Arkansas law to Oklahoma law. Last I checked, burping is usually an involuntary process.
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2010, 04:08:56 pm »

Last I checked, burping is usually an involuntary process.

Sometimes so is pooping yourself if you're partying that hard apparently.  It doesn't help everyone.

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Conan71
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2010, 04:10:19 pm »

Sometimes I think I prefer Arkansas law to Oklahoma law. Last I checked, burping is usually an involuntary process.

I keep it simple.  If I have too much when I'm out, I refuse to drive.
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nathanm
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2010, 04:12:56 pm »

I keep it simple.  If I have too much when I'm out, I refuse to drive.
As do I, but it's best to be prepared for all possible situations. Or at least as many as possible. I'd make a good Boy Scout.  Tongue
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"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration" --Abraham Lincoln
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