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On Blood-alcohol Testing


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  • On Blood-alcohol Testing

    AS I SEE IT |
    Hospitals should aid officers in collecting evidence
    Special to The Star

    A woman with four DUI convictions runs a red light in Johnson County and slams into crossing traffic. The accident injures a 16-year-old and his grandmother, who suffer life-threatening injuries. It is unclear whether they will live.

    The woman, with two children in the car, has the smell of alcohol on her breath and slurred speech. She and her children suffer minor injuries.

    The responding officer requests a blood draw from the woman, suspecting she has engaged in her fifth DUI. She refuses.

    The on-duty assistant district attorney is called and informs the medical personnel of Kansas law: An officer has probable cause to conduct a blood-alcohol test in any accident with severe injuries or death, even without a court order and without the suspect’s consent.

    The hospital still refuses to draw the blood, citing “privacy concerns” for the suspect.

    Privacy laws under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA, include specific law-enforcement exceptions, allowing hospitals to assist law enforcement in evidence collection.

    In addition, Kansas law states that only qualified medical personnel may draw blood from a DUI suspect, and that a police officer may direct medical personnel to do so without the driver’s consent in any traffic accident where death or serious injury occurs.

    Because blood testing must occur within two hours of the accident, and because police officers must rely on hospital workers to withdraw the blood, it is vital that hospitals understand the law if we are to effectively prosecute drunken drivers in Kansas.

    In the above case, thanks to the insistence by the district attorney’s office that the hospital follow the law, the evidence was secured and the drunk driver pleaded guilty without an expensive trial to her fifth DUI . The victims survived but with permanent injuries.

    This is nuts, why would a hospital refuse to help LE putting a scumbag drunk driver in jail?
    "Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."

    People who love sausage and people who believe in justice should never watch either of them being made. ~Otto Bismarck

    "Don't put yourself in a position to investigate yourself" ~CommonSense

    "Now, what is the rule?" "Protect myself at all times."


  • #2
    Blood Alcohol Testing

    Hospitals in Alabama routinely perform Blood/Alcohol testing at the request of law enforcement officers.


    • #3
      still the suspects fault. she is refusing to consent.
      indiana law says refusal of a breathalyzer is an automatic suspension of your license.


      • #4
        Blood draws are mandatory for those involved in accidents resulting in serious bodily injury or death in TN. Don't have a choice.
        I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..


        • #5
          This very same thing happened while I was on duty one evening. A liberal MLK ER doctor refused to force a blood sample from an arrestee, and ordered all the other doctors to do the same. The officer actually arrested the ER doctor for obstructing/delaying
          "Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought" ~Henri Louis Bergson



          • #6
            I love the fact that I don't have to deal with the hospital, just call the watch commander to send the department phlebotomist to whatever hospital i am at with the suspect. As stated above, if they refuse in California, they get an automatic 12 month suspension, and we force draw the blood anyway


            • #7
              Yeah, I would have hooked the Dr for obstructing.....I can't stand bleeding heart liberals!
              You have the right to remain silent, but apparently you lack the skill to exercise that right.


              • #8
                In NSW it is law for medical personnel to take blood AND urine from persons who are taken to hospital as a result of a vehicle collision. Consent on their part is not required. As much force as is necessary can be used to obtain blood, if they refuse to produce urine it is an additional offence. The samples will also be tested for drugs if requested.

                Legislation has also just been passed in Parliament to allow blood and urine to be taken from persons when they have been involved in a collision where serious injuries have resulted to any party and the driver does not go to hospital. No reasonable cause to suspect the driver may be under the influence is required, and again as much force as is necessary can be used.

                Traffic laws are fairly stringent over here, with the state littered with automatic speed camera's and red light cameras at a majority of intersections.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CommonGoal View Post
                  This is nuts, why would a hospital refuse to help LE putting a scumbag drunk driver in jail?
                  Maybe they were democrats

                  The hospital we go to from my jurisdiction is awesome about drawing blood. Just walk in to the ER, pick up the lab phone, and somebody is on the way. If you need a warrant to do it, the lab person will stand by with the needle while you subdue the scumbag, then come in for the poke.


                  • #10
                    HIPPA is not even a factor in the blood drawing/ LE stuff.that law is to protect people from finding out what your TREATED for, not what your blood reports you did.

                    but again maybe they were dems.
                    ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                    Oscar Wilde


                    • #11
                      Yeah first off Dr. would have gotten hooked for obstruction, who cares if his arrests sticks or not but still you march him out in front of everyone cuffed in the back.
                      We have a blood draw "nurse" come right to our jail. Whether or not it's voluntary or we have to obtain a warrant we'll get the blood. 100% success rate!
                      "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

                      "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep


                      • #12
                        B A Testing

                        In San Diego County, Hospital and Jail nurses WILL NOT draw blood samples.
                        REASON: Defense Attorneys subpoena them, and have them sit in a hall for days--not available to their employer.

                        The County contracts to a firm that dispatches Phlebotomists to your location-wherever that is.

                        In California, cops LOVE to have someone refuse:
                        1. The SOB gets held down, and the blood is drawn anyway. Calif Courts have said " That is evidence, and the officer has a right to take that evidence--as long as it does not "Shock the conscience"".

                        2. Your DUI has REFUSED. So you:
                        a. Take his license
                        b. hand him a copy of a report (1 page) that is going to DMV--tells him he can ask for a Hearing. IT also tells him that since he refused, his license is gone for a YEAR.

                        In the old days, it was like your example cited. I knew Doctors who refused to let nurses draw, and the Doc got bracelets and a ride to jail for interfering.


                        • #13
                          HEY, I'M A LIBERAL

                          I've had the same thing happen to me. A hospital in N. Miami Bch refused initially to draw blood from an unconscious subject involved in a crash. Long story short, The head nurse had instructed his staff not to assist due to some hospital regulations. I calmly let him speak to the S.A.O. who informed him that if someone didn't draw the blood, "The trooper will start arresting people from the top-down." 20 minutes later, I was leaving the hospital with my evidence.

                          A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

                          It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.


                          • #14
                            A quick call to the Coroner usually does the trick. As the Chief Medical Officer he can order the doctor, nurse, whoever, to draw the blood. Failure to do so then puts their license in limbo.


                            • #15
                              Those of you who have blood draw policy's, How much force can you use do conduct the draw on a refusal? Also on a refusal do you have to obtain a warrant? If so whats your success rate on getting one?
                              "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson


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