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Federal Program Encourages Officer Blood Draws To Nab Drunk Drivers

September 14, 2009  | 

The aim of a new federal program is to determine if drawing blood by law enforcement officers can be an effective tool against drunken drivers and aid in their prosecution, the New York Times reports.

If the results seem promising after a year or two, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will encourage law enforcement officers nationwide to undergo similar training.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1966 that the police could have blood tests forcibly done on a drunken-driving suspect without a warrant, as long as they were based on a reasonable suspicion that a suspect was intoxicated, and they were done after an arrest and carried out in a medically approved manner.

The practice of law-enforcement officers drawing blood, first done in Arizona in 1995, has raised concerns, though, about safety and the credibility of the evidence.


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