Archive for December 18th, 2008

Growing DUI Trend: Cops Armed with Gun, Club…and Needle

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

I’ve posted in the past about the emergence in Texas and Utah of a new practice in drunk driving law enforcement: bypassing a licensed blood technician and letting the cop draw the blood himself — on the highway.  See Blood Draws in the Back Seat by the Dashboard Light, Would You Want a Cop Taking Blood from You? and Taking Blood by Force.   

The scenario is rather chilling:  The frightened and struggling suspect spread-eagled on the hood of a car along the side of the road as the cop repeatedly jams a hypodermic needle into him. But the practice has continued to spread, as today’s news story from Arizona shows:

  
More Police Learning to Draw Blood in DUIs

Phoenix, AZ.  Dec. 18 – If you’re drunk behind the wheel in Arizona, chances are increasing that an officer might draw your blood to prove it.

During the past 15 years, most large law-enforcement agencies statewide have moved from using Breathalyzers in favor of using blood to determine alcohol levels.

 Nesci said his greater concern is with officers drawing blood during tense situations.

"You need a license to cut hair in Arizona, but you don’t need a license to puncture a vein and draw blood. That in and of itself is frightening," he said. "There are a couple (of) other things that go along with that. Was the person who drew your blood mad at you? Was it an adversarial situation?"

 
Would you want a cop taking blood from you? 
 

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