DuPage Prosecutors have new plan to get your blood sample

According to a story today, DuPage County will have phlebotomists on hand to draw blood of those suspected of DUI.

The story states that the phlebotomists are for those cases where a person refuses a breath test and demands a blood test.  I have a hard time believing this, since this rarely ever happens.

in my experience, which is vast, blood tests occur in DUI s because (1) the motorist was injured and was taken to a hospital, not a police station, (2) the officer suspects drug use, which can’t be detected by a breath test, or (3) it is a “no-refusal” in which the motorist refused a breath test, and the police seek to obtain a blood sample without consent. In situation (1), the motorist is already at a hospital, where a blood sample can be easily obtained, so there is no need to hire phlebotomists for that scenario.

I suspect that the only reason to maintain phlebotomists on-call for blood draws is for reason (3) the “no-refusal” situation.  I have discussed no-refusals here and here, including the following:

Illinois courts have stated that while defendants do not have a right to refuse a test, the police cannot use excessive force to draw blood from the individual.  People v. Jones, 214 Ill.2d 187 and People v. Farris, 2012 IL App (3d) 100199.

Police and prosecutors seek to justify these blood draws under the grounds that blood alcohol evidence is the strongest evidence of intoxication, and that because alcohol eliminates from the blood rapidly, it must be drawn soon after the arrest.

…the United States Supreme Court announced that it would be hearing a case from Missouri where a police officer took a recalcitrant motorist to a hospital and had his blood drawn.  The Missouri courts suppressed the blood test, because it was taken without a warrant or a showing of “exigent circumstances.”

If the Supreme Court overturns the Missouri decision, then police will be authorized to drag anyone they suspect of driving while intoxicated to a facility where their blood can be drawn.  This strikes me as a very serious infringement on our liberty.

It seems to me that DuPage is getting ready in advance of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Missouri case, expecting that the Court will allow warrantless, involuntary forced blood draws in DUI cases.

What do you think?


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