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Cops and DUI blood tests: Yes or no?Posted Monday, September 14, 2009, at 2:42 PM
Almost every weekday I read police reports in which officers have put suspected drunken drivers through a series of tests such as standing on one leg and reciting the alphabet, then often giving them a breathalyer test.
But some officers in Idaho and Texas are testing a program in which they do blood tests on the spot, the Associated Press reports. In contrast, officers in Shelbyville and Bedford County have to take individuals to Heritage Medical Center.
Seems that officers can't demand breath tests but can forcibly take blood -- and that's been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Idaho officers are trained to take blood only from an elbow crease, forearm or back of the hand, AP reports.
So...do you think officers should be jabbing suspects?
I'd say yes, for some officers, but imagine someone struggling to get away as the needle goes down. And I can see all kinds of possibilities for lawsuits.
Still, as someone who is adverse to needles (though I didn't even feel my flu shot last year), I don't think I'd want to be drawing blood.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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