Forced Blood Draw? (DUI situation) - page 2

i'm in the last semester of my rn program in california and an issue came up at one of our clinical er sites regarding forced blood draws for dui (driving under the influence) and i wanted to get... Read More

  1. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from tazzirn
    the charge of a felony comes from the da's office. the da's office is rarely on scene when the suspected is arrested for being under the influence.
    i'm sure law enforcement officers know what code and section of the law they are arresting a suspect under and whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony charge. that's kinda basic law enforcement 101 stuff.

  2. by   NicoleRN07
    Hi. I am a NC resident, and recently the law has changed. It used to be that if you refused blood draw for legal blood alcohol, you lost your license automatically, but, it has changed and now, refusal is not an option. With or without consent, the blood alcohol level will be drawn.
  3. by   Ann RN
    Quote from TazziRN
    Well, now, here's the problem with that.......people are brought in for blood draws when suspected of being under the influence of something. The charge of a felony comes from the DA's office. The DA's office is rarely on scene when the suspected is arrested for being under the influence.
    I think that's why some hospital labs hold on to the blood drawn as normal procedure in the ER. Our lab holds it for 5 days. Then if the DA's office supeonas the blood for chemical testing, nothing new needs to be drawn - it's already there.
  4. by   TazziRN
    Quote from west_coast_ken
    i'm sure law enforcement officers know what code and section of the law they are arresting a suspect under and whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony charge. that's kinda basic law enforcement 101 stuff.

    that's not the point. the point is that law enforcement officers do not charge suspects with anything. officers arrest suspects for "suspicion of (fill in blank)". the actual charge comes from the da's office and it can be different than what the officers think. if an officer were to bring in a suspect and have a forced draw done because he thinks the suspect will be charged with a felony, but the da ends up charging a misdemeanor, the suspect's rights have now been violated and the lab results go out the window.
  5. by   RN BSN 2009
    Quote from TazziRN
    That's not the point. The point is that law enforcement officers do not charge suspects with anything. Officers arrest suspects for "suspicion of (fill in blank)". The actual charge comes from the DA's office and it can be different than what the officers think. If an officer were to bring in a suspect and have a forced draw done because he thinks the suspect will be charged with a felony, but the DA ends up charging a misdemeanor, the suspect's rights have now been violated and the lab results go out the window.
    That could be really bad
  6. by   morte
    and a "regular" blood draw would not be admissable in court
  7. by   Ann RN
    Quote from morte
    and a "regular" blood draw would not be admissable in court
    In PA a "regular" blood draw is admissable if the court supoenas the blood.
  8. by   CSLee3
    In Texas, police officers and state troopers carry their own blood draw kit from the State DPS Lab, once the vial is filled, it is sealed with the cop, the nurse or tech as a witness and sealed agian in a green tube which is mailed to the main lab in Austin. Some Officers just get an "unofficial" result from the doctor and ask the DA to supeona the information. Voluntary consents are done at my hospital all the time, they bypass the ER and go straight to the lab for a "Legal Draw". In case of a Fatality or probably fatality (FELONIES) yes, cops know what is a felony....for instance, vehicular homicide, failure to stop and render aid, intoxicated manslaughter and so on....the draw is requried and a nurse, doctor or tech cannot refuse orders of a peace officer if they are told a fatality or probable fatality is to occur. I have actually seen two nurses handcuffed until a supervisor stepped up and drew the blood. The Officer reads from a small piece of paper that comes with the vial and "directs a licensed health care professional to draw this blood...refusing to draw this blood is a crime and you will be arrested".
    Austin PD is now seeking a warrant for "blood" via telephone from municipal judges at all hours of the night to force blood draws on individuals that refuse breath and sobriety testing on video. Luckily, the poor lab techs end going to court more than the nurses here.
    P.S. Case law in Texas has also upheld police officers getting their tube filled from EMS on the scene, so long as not etoh was used in the draw.
  9. by   TazziRN
    CA is different. No consent, no draw. No draw, automatic loss of license.

    Here's an example of officer vs DA: a few months ago there was a rollover and an unrestrained infant was ejected and killed. CHP recommended vehicular manslaughter. The DA's office decided not to charge. If the driver had been forced to submit to a blood draw based on a probable felony charge because the infant died, the driver would now be able to sue for assault.

    I am not arguing that certain crimes are obviously felonies, but the final decision rests with the DA's office, not the cops.
  10. by   Victoriakem
    If a patient consents to a blood draw with the police who bring them for a suspected DUI, we use the police kit. If they refuse, the police can supoena the lab results. This was done for a repeat drunk driver who put another innocent guy in shock trauma. What a loser! Imagine he's been put away for a long time. At last it's safer to drive where I live, now that he's not there. His wife came in from an out of town trip for her father's funeral, to find her hubby strapped down on a back board after causing another accident, roaring profanities @ the staff & being an regular drunk a**hole. She said, "I was afraid this would happen" & started to cry. Sad affair & the young offspring witnessed it all. Not a good day @ work.
  11. by   morte
    Quote from Ann RN
    In PA a "regular" blood draw is admissable if the court supoenas the blood.
    if the court accepts it , and the defense doesnt get it thrown out, it is a piss poor defense attorney...where is the chain of evidence? where is the security of the specimen documented? who has had it in their constant presence?
  12. by   nj1grlcrus
    Quote from morte
    if the court accepts it , and the defense doesnt get it thrown out, it is a piss poor defense attorney...where is the chain of evidence? where is the security of the specimen documented? who has had it in their constant presence?
    Piss poor attorney times two! A regular blood draw would usually involve an alcohol wipe, which would contaminate the sample. DUI draws specify betadine wipes, or possibly soap and water, NO ALCOHOL!
  13. by   TazziRN
    Quote from nj1grlcrus
    Piss poor attorney times two! A regular blood draw would usually involve an alcohol wipe, which would contaminate the sample. DUI draws specify betadine wipes, or possibly soap and water, NO ALCOHOL!

    And that makes no sense. There is not enough alcohol in the wipe to alter the result, but somebody obviously used that successfully as a defense in the past.

    And we use zephirin chloride

close