Archive for December 26th, 2007

Forced Blood Draws by Cops Spreading

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

I’ve commented repeatedly in the recent past about the increasing use of forced blood draws — and particularly on the practice of having the cops themselves acting as "nurse" while pinning the suspect down and drawing the blood.  See Taking Blood by ForceForced Blood Draws by Cops: Constitutional?, Would You Want a Cop Taking Blood from You?,  Forced Blood Draws by Cops in Back Seat.   The following is a recent example of what is happening in the Great State of Texas:


Texas: Forced DUI Blood Draws Expand

More Texas jurisdictions are turning to forced blood draws to convict those suspected of DUI

TheNewspaper.com.  Dec. 26  –  Jurisdictions within Texas are expanding programs where police use force to draw blood from motorists accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Last week, El Paso announced it had joined Harris and Wilson Counties in a "no refusal" program specifically designed to streamline the blood drawing process.

It works as follows. An accused motorist is arrested and taken downtown. While being videotaped, he will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test with officers specifically avoiding any mention that blood will be taken by force if the often
inaccurate breathalyzer test is refused.

During key holiday weekends, a pre-assigned judge who agreed to wait by the phone will approve search warrants created from pre-written templates — often within just thirty minutes. With warrant in hand, a nurse whose salary is often paid by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) will draw blood while police officers exert the required level of force. In some cases, this
use of force can cause permanent damage. Montague, Archer and Clay counties have similar programs except that these departments do away with the nurse and have police officers perform the blood draw themselves, despite a state law banning the practice.

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