Hwy Patrol officers draw blood of suspects!


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CentralTexas
January 24, 2006, 11:08 AM
http://kutv.com/topstories/local_story_029164221.html

UHP Troopers Learn to Draw Blood From Suspects
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Some Utah Highway Patrol troopers are becoming medically certified to draw blood from motorists they suspect of driving while intoxicated.

Blood tests are necessary because portable breath tests only detect alcohol, not drugs or other possible intoxicants, said Sgt. Lee Perry, with the Weber County office of the Highway Patrol.

Without the medical certification, troopers now must either take a suspect to a hospital or call in a certified technician to stick a needle in the suspect's arm and take a small sample. Every time a trooper does that, it costs the Highway Patrol $50 or $60.

Perry said that costs about $25,000 per year.

Eventually, about 65 troopers will be trained throughout the state in the nominal medical procedures needed to take blood.

A Federal Highway Safety Administration grant provided the funds to hire the Utah School of Phlebotomy to teach troopers how to do it.

Beth Anderson, president of the school, said the compressed four-session course certifies the troopers as phlebotomists, legally and medically able to safely take a blood sample.

The course even teaches troopers how to get used to the idea of sticking someone with a needle, which isn't always that easy, she said.

``The thing is, you've got to get over that mental state of going in through some guy's skin,'' she said. ``Then you hold (the vein) so it doesn't roll, and you're in there.''

Instruction also includes patient care, confidentiality, and what to watch for if the subject is about to collapse at the idea of being stuck.

The troopers actually poke each other with the needles for practice in the classes _ eight sticks per trooper at each of the four.

By the end, the dozen troopers in an early first class sported arms flecked with bruises and needle marks.

The certified troopers will not receive any extra pay for taking the classes or drawing blood.

___

Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net

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rick_reno
January 24, 2006, 11:16 AM
This sure beats the old method of shooting the suspects and then soaking some blood up in a rag for analysis.

scubie02
January 24, 2006, 11:23 AM
I think that its a somewhat alarming trend that we are moving in as far as taking "samples" when someone has contact with the legal system--not found guilty, just taken in or whatever. With all of the Human Genome Stuff going on and advances, I see it as a privacy issue to NOT have my DNA on file with the government--its somewhat alarming that the government WANTS to have everyone's DNA on file--Big Brother at its finest. Then they mention how they want the power to "quarantine part of the population when necessary"...so what's to say they decide your DNA shows you are more susceptible to catching the latest Bird Flu, and as a precaution lets just round up those folks and keep them in a camo for awhile...

In this particular case, I wouldn't want to be the cop having to take a blood sample from some of the dirtbags they regularly encounter either.

The country's just going to hell in a handbasket faster and faster...*sigh*

wish there was still a frontier to move to...

K-Romulus
January 24, 2006, 11:34 AM
Before they poke someone with a needle and extract their bodily tissue "for law enforcement purposes,":rolleyes: I thought the police needed a real-live search warrant.:confused:

rick_reno
January 24, 2006, 11:48 AM
Before they poke someone with a needle and extract their bodily tissue "for law enforcement purposes,":rolleyes: I though the police needed a real-live search warrant.:confused:

Warrants? :neener: You're living in the "Old America" friend. In the "New America" they don't need no stinkin warrants.

c_yeager
January 24, 2006, 11:53 AM
Every time a trooper does that, it costs the Highway Patrol $50 or $60.


Yeah, and about %80 of that is the actual lab test, which they still have to pay for regardless of who draws the blood.

I think they might run into problems with this. I realize that phlebotomy isnt very hard, and that it pays just slightly higher than minimum wage, but when a jury looks at a cop they really dont see someone that they think should be sticking needles into people.

El Tejon
January 24, 2006, 11:57 AM
K-Rom, do you mean for the driver or for the vehicle?

Since motor vehicles are mobile, agile and hostile, they are outside the warrant requirement. Po-po needs probable cause to toss the vehicle (or, if smarter, arrest the driver and get the free search with the inventory).

For the driver, usually the cops have either consent or a medical reason as in after an accident (depends on state statute), or get a telephone warrant if they have probable cause for an OWI arrest.

El Tejon
January 24, 2006, 11:58 AM
c yeager, come on now, just smart bureaucrats padding their budgets.

Save money by growing your own budget! Very slick.:D

Steve in PA
January 24, 2006, 12:10 PM
Before they poke someone with a needle and extract their bodily tissue "for law enforcement purposes,":rolleyes: I though the police needed a real-live search warrant.:confused:

Um, don't know what state your from but in PA you don't need a warrant to draw blood as long as the driver consents. If the driver doesn't consent, then you will need a warrant, however I've never seen anyone do this. If during a stop for suspicion of DUI, the driver refuses, they atuomatically loose their license for 1 year. If found guilty of DUI (with a refusal) they could face 3 years in jail plus a hefty fine.

El Tejon
January 24, 2006, 12:16 PM
Judge: "Mr. Prosecutor, your first witness."
Prosecutor: "At this time, the State calls Trooper Dracula."
Judge: "Raise your right hand and swear or affirm that everything you testify to is true."
Trooper: "Blah, I vant to suck your blood.":D

c_yeager
January 24, 2006, 12:20 PM
Judge: "Mr. Prosecutor, your first witness."
Prosecutor: "At this time, the State calls Trooper Dracula."
Judge: "Raise your right hand and swear or affirm that everything you testify to is true."
Trooper: "Blah, I vant to suck your blood.":D

I know its funny, but this could lead to some problems. When a jury looks at a document from a hospital that document attests to the fact that the blood that was tested came from the person that is being tried. The jury sees a hospital as an impartial and proffessional third party. Juries are willing to accept that the police will conspire to put a person in jail, they have a harder time seeing that a medical facility would participate in that conspiracy. Taking the third-party out of the equation can hurt the credibility of case.

El Tejon
January 24, 2006, 12:34 PM
c yeager, I agree with your assessment. I could not help myself.:evil:

WYO
January 24, 2006, 12:36 PM
The article is not entirely clear, but this could be for purposes of testing under the state's implied consent law. Implied consent laws usually allow the officer to pick the test to be administered, whether breath, blood or urine, after the person has been arrested for DUI. Because drawing blood is invasive, the person must be certified to draw the blood. This appears to allow the officers to become certfied to draw blood. Implied consent laws are civil in nature and generally do not allow testing if the driver refuses to submit. The usual penalty for failure to submit is suspension of the driver's license.

There are times when warrantless blood draws are permitted under a 4th amendment analysis, usually under an exigent circumstances exception. An example could be loss of evidence in a matter involving death or serious bodily injury due to decreasing BAC levels while a warrant were obtained. Otherwise, a warrant is needed. (e.g. a test to determine blood type)

Unless I am missing something here, the certification of troopers doesn't change the law in any way, just the mechanics of administering the tests.

c_yeager's analysis goes to the weight of the evidence and not the legality of obtaining it.

pcf
January 24, 2006, 12:40 PM
It's all about officer safety.
"Terry frisk" to check for hidden weapons.
"Protective sweeps" to check for hidden guest.

and now, "Officers drawing blood from criminals, who always happen to be clean and healthy individuals, to save a few bucks" in the interest of officer safety.

Pilgrim
January 24, 2006, 12:40 PM
Before they poke someone with a needle and extract their bodily tissue "for law enforcement purposes," I thought the police needed a real-live search warrant.
Most states have in the provisions for drivers licensing that the driver agrees to submit to chemical testing of his blood if he is suspected of DUI. If he refuses, he loses his license for one year or more.

If the driver refuses, and it is thought necessary by the police to obtain a sample of blood for chemical testing, the courts have recognized an emergency exception to obtaining a warrant because the evidence is being lost through normal biological process and the time needed to get the warrant would cause the loss of evidence and would jeopardize prosecution. This normally only occurs when the DUI suspect was in a traffic accident that caused death or severe bodily injury.

What the emergency exception means is that three or four big guys sit on the suspect's chest and legs while the blood is drawn in a 'medically accepted' manner.

Pilgrim

Molon Labe
January 24, 2006, 01:21 PM
A better idea is to make every adult over 18 wear a portable blood monitoring system around-the-clock. The unit would continuously send data (via the cellular phone system) containing each person's drugs and alcohol content to a central database. An integral GPS receiver would send data containing the location of the guilty party.

scubie02
January 24, 2006, 01:56 PM
yeah, I love that whole "you have a right to refuse...of course, then we suspend your license"--real nice. Geezes what a state we have fallen into.

And I will clarify--I do not drive drunk. It just wouldn't happen. But I would have a problem if I got pulled over and the guy said "you looked like you crossed the yellow line back there (maybe you saw a deer at the side of the road and you slowed down and drifted over a bit since there was no approaching traffic to give yourself a little more wiggle room, but the cop didn't notice) I'm afraid I'm going to need a blood sample..."--screw that!

I wish there was a free country to move to somewhere. :(

Old Dog
January 24, 2006, 02:38 PM
Interesting that the state of Utah is trying this because it saves money.

I doubt that most of the state troopers are very enthusiastic about this; in fact, I'd bet there's gonna be some real grumbling, and let's see how their union handles this. Big difference between having a motorist you've pulled over blow into the straw sticking out of your little PBA and actually having to sit down with that motorist and spend quite a bit more time drawing blood (at two a.m. on a cold Utah mountain highway). We'll see how happy the troopers are about having to get a bit more up close and personal when they pull someone over for a deuce ...

Even people who have to draw blood as part of their job aren't real enthusiastic about doing it.

progunner1957
January 24, 2006, 02:45 PM
Ask someone with scleroderma about getting blood drawn - the vessels are surrounded with connective tissue that a healthy person does not have, making it extremely difficult for even a professional RN to get a blood draw.

The veins are hardened by the connective tissue and are very difficult to penetrate with a needle, as they roll away from the needle. Along with it comes excruitiating pain (I know from personal experience). A local anistetic cream must be applied, which takes an hour to permeate the skin and take effect in order for a blood draw to be accomplished. Sometimes a Lidocaine injection is required.

So a person with scleroderma is supposed to let a LEO dig around in his/her arm with a needle and tear the crap out of them while trying to hit a vein that an RN with years of training and years of on-the-job experience can hardly get?

I don't think so.

If they decide to beat their baby-makers on their chests and do it by force, both me and my attorney will be rich men.

Bottom line: LEOs have no business doing this. Not in a supposedly free nation.

HighVelocity
January 24, 2006, 03:30 PM
If I were pulled over on the hwy and told that I had to provide a blood sample I would refuse. Go ahead and arest me if you have to but an officer on the side of the road isn't going to do stick a needle in me. Period.

ball3006
January 24, 2006, 03:37 PM
I have it done every month for cholestrol checks. The only time it is difficult is when the person is fat, and you can't see the vessel. I remember reading about this program in the paper. The program has a judge on 24 hour call to immediately issue a warrant if needed. That base is covered. With the amount of drunks on the road, I think it is a good idea. If those idiots, the drunks, would just drive home it would not be so bad but, well, you know........chris3

mfree
January 24, 2006, 03:42 PM
And what happens the first time you do something like swerve to avoid a piece of metal in the road and an officer pulls you over for DUI, even though you're a stone-cold sober teetotaller?

He's comin' for blood....

DRZinn
January 24, 2006, 04:14 PM
Main Entry: un·rea·son·able
Pronunciation: -'rEz-n&-b&l, -'rE-z&n-&-b&l
Function: adjective

1. drawing blood based on a officer's suspicion.

ex:The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Shield529
January 24, 2006, 04:17 PM
And what happens the first time you do something like swerve to avoid a piece of metal in the road and an officer pulls you over for DUI, even though you're a stone-cold sober teetotaller?

He's comin' for blood....

It's not going to work quite that way. The officer would need to be be to convince the judge issuing the warrant that PC exists. I.E. odor of intoxicants, failed field testing, open containers ETC. Not just a swerve.
That said this is stupid. It is be no means practical, sanitary, or safe. There is no way in hell they would convince me to perform this practice, if for no other reason than LIABILITY!!! the first time trooper A misses a vain and causes damage when suspect B decides to get froggy its time for Federal Court. The first infection due to dirty roadside conditions, Federal Court.
This state is easy I ask you to take the test. You say no the conversation ends I book you and license is gone for 6-30 months. No injury no lawsuit.

XD_fan
January 24, 2006, 04:32 PM
Aside from the sanitary issues and allowing someone to stick you that isn't properly trained and certified as a phleboist, what about the chain of custody? Dracula draws your blood and then what? This is such a bad idea with so many holes in it it isn't even funny.

sam59
January 24, 2006, 04:49 PM
I doubt they will do the draw on the side of the road. Most likely several test's will be administered prior to any need for a blood draw. If your worried that swerving is going to result in a blood draw, you may want to turn in your license.

PCGS65
January 24, 2006, 05:16 PM
Before they poke someone with a needle and extract their bodily tissue "for law enforcement purposes,":rolleyes: I thought the police needed a real-live search warrant.:confused:
That right was(the right to privacy)violated years ago.
Also remember entrapment that's gone too. I see all the time in the paper people being arrested for buying drugs from the LEO's.
Our right to privacy is gone. Freedom of speech is half way there and the right to bear arms..........well if they can make everybody a felon......puff...gone too.:fire:

Mad Chemist
January 24, 2006, 05:33 PM
The 4A is just as important as the 2A. There is absolutely no reason why I would consent to this type of search. If I was involved in this type of scenario, I would consider it my civic duty to become the first "test case". Hopefully, I would be able to rally enough support to avoid bankruptcy while the case is being litigated.

JH

Chris Rhines
January 24, 2006, 06:05 PM
This is really, really uncool.

I'm sure there are some people out there who, like me, are deathly afraid of needles. For me, having blood drawn ranks right up there with prison rape, as far as things to be avoided. If some cop tried to forcibly draw blood from me during a traffic stop, I would go completely nuts.

I can very easily see this program resulting in people getting killed.

- Chris

progunner1957
January 24, 2006, 07:21 PM
Drawing a blood sample is not that hard....
Whether it's "not that hard" or not is not the point. As I said earlier, LEO's have no business doing this to people in a supposedly free nation, regardless of their "training." Obviously, their training needs to include a block of instruction on Article 4 of the Bill of Rights.

It appears that you did not read my post about scleroderma. So, here is the gist of it -
Ask someone with scleroderma about getting blood drawn - the vessels are surrounded with connective tissue that a healthy person does not have, making it extremely difficult for even a professional RN to get a blood draw.

The veins are hardened by the connective tissue and are very difficult to penetrate with a needle, as they roll away from the needle. Along with it comes excruitiating pain (I know from personal experience). A local anistetic cream must be applied, which takes an hour to permeate the skin and take effect in order for a blood draw to be accomplished. Sometimes a Lidocaine injection is required.

So a person with scleroderma is supposed to let a LEO dig around in his/her arm with a needle and tear the crap out of them while trying to hit a vein that an RN with years of training and years of on-the-job experience can hardly get?


No LEO is going to draw my blood on the side of the road - period.

svtruth
January 24, 2006, 09:03 PM
to derail this.
Be sober, weave, get blood drawn, times a thousand, police budget goes down in flames.
Injury, infection. PTSD, lawsuit; police budget goes up in flames.
If they miss on the first stick, sue 'em for torture.

LawDog
January 24, 2006, 09:23 PM
If marijuana possession becomes legalized, you're going to see a lot of this. To my knowledge, there isn't a breathalyzer which detects THC with any certainty.

That being said, I don't draw blood. And I say that as a former EMT.

I'll take a DWI/marijuana suspect to the hospital, and if someone shows me a warrant I'll sit on him while someone who draws blood for a living does the deed, but I am not sticking people.

LawDog

Old Dog
January 24, 2006, 09:26 PM
It'd be so much simpler just to have one's suspect pee in a bottle.

gripper
January 24, 2006, 09:34 PM
I'm not necessarily a cop-hater;i've simply had a mixed bag of experiences( some of them ongoing) with LEO's. I don't broad brush them one way or another...that said, ANYONE regardless of their job approaching me with something sharp and without my consent is going to have their work cut out for them.

Firethorn
January 24, 2006, 11:05 PM
I wonder what a jury's reaction would be to a person who doesn't refuse per say, but just say's that they want a professional phlebotomist, instead of what's effectivly an unsupervised apprentice?

I'm not the hardest person to draw blood from by any means, but my veins are tricky. I'm also very jittery because of a bad draw earlier in life that had me screaming to just pull it out after having three people wiggling the needle around in my arm.

Afterwards, well, I'll sue for search without warrent, by coercion(loss of license).

progunner1957 has the gist of the violation of our rights, and I think that SVTruth has a good method for fighting it. A repeat of the incident when I was a teen when coercied and being poked by an unexperienced cop and I would sue. I develop an infection, I sue.

I wonder if the cost effectivness people have considered the assumtion of medical liability by the police into their equation? Heck, if a guy turns up with some sort of blood-transmitable disease, he could sue the police for possibly infecting him with it(was the needle properly sterile?) and the police would have to prove that they didn't. Tetenus would be a good one.

Powderman
January 24, 2006, 11:19 PM
Uh-uh.

No way.

I mean, no way in h-e-double toothpicks am I going to draw someone's blood!!

Not no, but H**L NO!

First of all, I have the proverbial hands of stone. I hate having MY blood drawn. I could just see me digging into someone's arm. Uh-uh.

Second, we are taught to AVOID blood at all costs--think of all the juicy bloodborne pathogens we can expose ourselves to!

So, let's see...I pull over someone who may just be getting a warning, detect the odor of alcohol, develop PC for an arrest, arrest and THEN draw blood? Let's say the person is HIV positive, and I don't know it....worst of all, let's say that THEY don't know it yet, either!

Yeah! Why don't I just rip that Colt out of the holster and blow my own brains all over the road?

Not for me, sportsfans. They go to the hospital if they have to. :cuss:

Sindawe
January 24, 2006, 11:46 PM
If marijuana possession becomes legalized, you're going to see a lot of this. To my knowledge, there isn't a breathalyzer which detects THC with any certainty. Nor to mine LawDog. I doubt its even possible given the way THC acts on the brain and is metabolized by the body. I'm not so sure about blood tests either, but I don't know the half-life of THC in the blood stream.

I think a better recourse to drawing blood would be for some form of impairment testing to be put in place, one based on involuntary eye movements and reactions, such as this device. http://www.pmifit.com/ Or this one. http://www.eyedynamics.com/SafetyScopePERF.htm Based on their published literature, it gives an assessment of the subjects impairment level, be it from EtOH, THC, other drugs, fatigue etc. And that is whats REALLY important, how fit a driver is to operate the vehicle, is it not?

On Edit: I'd found peer reviewed study that showed that the half-life of THC in the bloodstream of heavy users was about 4.3 days after cessation of smoking. This was after subjects had consumed a measured 56 mg of delta 1-THC over two days, them did not smoke for four weeks. Browser crashed before I could grab the URL :( I'll edit it here if I can find it again. Found it: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=2558889&dopt=Abstract

Based on that article, I have to say that blood testing is useless for fitness to drive.

stevelyn
January 25, 2006, 06:03 AM
A Federal Highway Safety Administration grant provided the funds to hire the Utah School of Phlebotomy.........

There's the answer right there. Free money, gotta spend it. In the end it's all about the money.

Pilgrim
January 25, 2006, 05:20 PM
It'd be so much simpler just to have one's suspect pee in a bottle.
CA used to include this as one of three options to comply with chemical testing as a result of a DUI arrest. It was removed as it is such an pain in the butt to administer.

For a valid urine sample, the suspect has to void his bladder. Then after thirty minutes, the suspect is asked to provide a urine sample. Someone has to watch the suspect fill the bottle and not dip it in the toilet bowl to dilute the sample.

One can see the complications that can arise from this. Coaxing someone to give a sample thirty minutes after voiding his/her bladder can be problematic. "I can't go. You just made me go, etc.."

Another issue is a suspect who is uncomfortable having someone watch him/her provide the sample. "I can't go while you are watching."

Then there is the other problem of a really drunken suspect urinating all over him/herself.

As I remember from my classes on DUI arrest procedures, the testing of urine was the least accurate and was thus prone to more challenges in court.

Pilgrim

LawDog
January 25, 2006, 06:43 PM
Would someone kindly point out to me where in the article it says that the blood will be drawn without a warrant?

Thank you.

LawDog

O.F.Fascist
January 26, 2006, 02:37 AM
Thats some pretty ????ed up ???? there.

I bet it wont be too much longer till the feds demand that officers of all states do this and then send then get them DNA tested and kept on file too.

K-Romulus
January 26, 2006, 10:36 AM
Would someone kindly point out to me where in the article it says that the blood will be drawn without a warrant?

Thank you.

LawDog

Here is what the police said:

Blood tests are necessary because portable breath tests only detect alcohol, not drugs or other possible intoxicants, said Sgt. Lee Perry, with the Weber County office of the Highway Patrol.

When I read this, it seemed that he was saying that merely blowing in the tube wouldn't cut it in the case of hard drugs, so they needed another "tool in the toolbox" while on the side of the road.

Rockstar
January 26, 2006, 10:47 AM
Some of the speculating in this thread sounds like the babble of ten-year-olds. We adults have no fear of having our blood drawn for legitimate reasons. I don't believe anybody will be forced to have his/her blood drawn by a trooper. A warrant would be required, in any state. Consent by the driver avoids the necessity of a warrant.

I can't fathom that a state trooper who's running about drawing blood speciously would last too long on the job.

CAS700850
January 26, 2006, 11:22 AM
Two points. First, with due respect to El T, I disagree about the need for a warrant. I believe that the motor vehicle/inventory exceptions to the warrant requirement would not allow for an officer to conduct an invasive procedure like this. As it is now in Ohio, a warrant is necessary regardless of who is drawing the blood, due to the invasive nature of the procedure.

Second, let's talk liability. Officer crews up while sticking the needle in, dirty needle, bad stick, etc. Drawee ends up with substantial injuries or worse, dead (think hemophiliac and a bad stick). Now, Trooper is sued for medical negligence. Didn't take a medical history from the subject before you stuck him, did you? And, as El T will agree, since it was in the course of the officer's duties, you can now add the entire agency, and add teh entire State while at it. Now, do we think anyone thought this all the way through and purchased the appropriate insurance?

Some of our local cops are certified to collect DNA evidence from a subject. Mouth swabs. No risks.

Powderman
January 26, 2006, 11:26 AM
Some of the speculating in this thread sounds like the babble of ten-year-olds. We adults have no fear of having our blood drawn for legitimate reasons. I don't believe anybody will be forced to have his/her blood drawn by a trooper. A warrant would be required, in any state. Consent by the drive avoids the necessity of a warrant.

I can't fathom that a state trooper who's running about drawing blood speciously would last too long on the job.

OK. Definitely not meant as a flame of any sort--but here goes...

1. How many State Troopers are qualified to draw blood? And, I don't mean by a crash course, either. I am of the firm belief that anyone--ANYONE--who means to effect an intrusion into the human body, ostensibly for medical reasons, needs to have intensive training and a supervised period where they work under the guidance of an experienced technician.

2. There is also the fatigue factor to consider. Let's say that you are on the tail end of a shift that saw some major incidents, possibly a few chases, and a hands-on encounter with your garden variety assaultive criminal who decided that they did not want to be arrested today. Now, right before end of watch, you pull over a suspected DUI, and have to draw blood. Think about it.

3. Reiterating my earlier statement, consider the sheer volume of bloodborne pathogens that are known today. A person that draws blood in a controlled environment has at least some protection. If the patient is hospitalized, and the illnesses are known, there are barriers of protection that can be (and are) used by medical personnel.

You, as the officer drawing the sample, have only a pair of rubber gloves (I hope) protecting you from exposure to the blood of the individual you are drawing. And, as another poster pointed out, there are people with medical conditions that prevent the location of a vein for a proper venipuncture with minimal discomfort. Can you say unusual pain and suffering? What happens if you come into skin-blood contact with the person, and they DO have a communicable disease, such as HIV, full blown AIDS, Hepatitis-C, herpes, or other diseases?

And, respectfully, if I may point out, a good portion of the "ten-year olds" that are "babbling" in this thread are experienced law enforcement officers--yours truly included. I said it before, and I'll say it again--if there is blood to be drawn, then the person goes to a hospital. I will NOT draw someone's blood, unless I change careers.

Optical Serenity
January 26, 2006, 11:29 AM
No big deal...

Most states have an Implied Consent Law, and its not a bad "state" we are in...just a fact of life. IMO DUI's are greatly under-punished and under-enforced. I have arrested many people for DUI over the last few years, and they are all a huge threat to other peoples' safety.

Right now, either a nurse or a phlebotomist will take the blood if I ask for a blood sample from the person. I can ask for blood, urine, breath, or any combination.

Yes you have a right to refuse, but no, there is no person who has a RIGHT to drive on public roadways.

Just as in the past police officers were not actually certified to use Intox machines at the jails, and now they are, this is really no big deal.

Personally as a police officer, I'd rather not draw blood...but there are times when you go to the ER and its slam packed.

c_yeager
January 26, 2006, 01:14 PM
Aside from the sanitary issues and allowing someone to stick you that isn't properly trained and certified as a phleboist, what about the chain of custody? Dracula draws your blood and then what? This is such a bad idea with so many holes in it it isn't even funny.


I agree with your concerns about chain of custody. However, based on the description of the course it is pretty clear that the police officers WOULD be trained and certified phlebotomists. It may suprise some, but the only education needed to draw blood, even in a hospital setting, is a ONE quarter 3 credit class. A friend of mine got her phlebotomy certification to make her more employable as a CNA, it took a grand total of about 10 hours of training, and this is with a class in which %40 of the class didnt speak english. Nurses spend a couple of days on it in school. Trust me, anyone who can complete a police academy can pass a phlebotomy course without breaking a sweat.

2. There is also the fatigue factor to consider. Let's say that you are on the tail end of a shift that saw some major incidents, possibly a few chases, and a hands-on encounter with your garden variety assaultive criminal who decided that they did not want to be arrested today. Now, right before end of watch, you pull over a suspected DUI, and have to draw blood. Think about it.


Do yourself a favor and dont EVER ask an RN or an emergency physician how many hours they worked that day, and whatever you do, dont ask how much sleep they got.

NineseveN
January 26, 2006, 01:16 PM
I'd rather have a suspended license and drive for a year without one than to give in to this kind of thuggery...and I don't even drive under the influence, I hardly even drink or drive seperately. It's the principle of it.


:banghead:

NineseveN
January 26, 2006, 01:18 PM
I agree with your concerns about chain of custody. However, based on the description of the course it is pretty clear that the police officers WOULD be trained and certified phlebotomists. It may suprise some, but the only education needed to draw blood, even in a hospital setting, is a ONE quarter 3 credit class. A friend of mine got her phlebotomy certification to make her more employable as a CNA, it took a grand total of about 10 hours of training, and this is with a class in which %40 of the class didnt speak english. Nurses spend a couple of days on it in school. Trust me, anyone who can complete a police academy can pass a phlebotomy course without breaking a sweat.

Requirements vary, remind me never to have blood drawn in Seattle. :uhoh:

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