Motorists Forced To Let Officers Draw Blood Samples At DUI Stops

There have been an increasing number of police departments allowing their officers to draw blood samples from motorists under suspicion of a DUI/DWI. This takes place on the roadside as opposed to a hospital where there are trained medical professionals. It seems like a recipe for disaster to allow officers to do blood draws when they do not have adequate medical training. This has proven true in Arizona recently where a lawsuit has been filed to stop this practice.

According to Scripps News, a man developed a persistent infection at the site of a blood draw administered by a Pima County sheriff’s deputy. He has filed what is believed to be the first claim in Arizona against the practice, which could put local taxpayers on the hook for any damages.

Arizona law requires that drunken driving suspects submit to a test or lose their license for a year and it’s the officer’s choice, not the driver’s, whether to use a breath or a blood test.

Having officers draw blood has become more common recently because it makes it more difficult for people to defend themselves against DUI/DWI charges. Breathalyzers have proven to be wildly inaccurate and don’t hold up well in court so blood tests have become a more appealing option legally. But when dealing with a medical procedure like a blood draw, the focus should be on the well-being of the individual and not making sure the District Attorney can get a conviction. Officers without adequate medical training should not be playing around with people’s health, no matter the legal ramifications.

News Source

Not an NMA Member yet?

Join today and get these great benefits!

Leave a Comment

114 Responses to “Motorists Forced To Let Officers Draw Blood Samples At DUI Stops”

  1. Douglas says:

    I am not a certified medical professional, but I have had some interaction with the field. I for one, am deeply concerned over this practice. True, you can do a blood draw in not quite sterile conditions, but it is a very risky situation no matter how you look at it. There is also the other concern of making a good draw. I am a rather large individual, and I can tell you that to get an promising draw, you have to utilize a rather fine needle, because my veins are extremely had to hit. I have been disallowed to donate blood due to my veins. The thought that an untrained individual could take a large gauge needle to my arm scares me. The chance for infection is high, but also there is the chance for damage due to the needle.

  2. Evan says:

    What happens when an individual, even a sober one, has a fear of needles? Many people have a paralyzing fear of needles and, despite being perfectly sober, would refuse a blood draw out of pure panic, regardless of the potential consequences. Presumably, the officer could demand a blood draw instead of the breathalyser, an innocent suspect could refuse and lose his or her license automatically simply for refusing under duress. Of course, the suspect could tell the story to the judge, who may or may not believe it. If the officer gives in and allows the breathalyser instead of the blood draw, then smart suspects will claim a fear of needles to gain the advantage of a breathalyser test that is vulnerable in court. If the judge allows the license suspension to stand, then the citizens are compelled to submit to a risky and invasive medical procedure performed by inadequately trained law enforcement or else lose a freedom that has become essential in the modern world. It is an impossible situation but we live in a country where the presumption must be in favor of individual freedoms and there is no freedom more important than the freedom to be free from intrusions upon our person without due process. These blood draws are grossly inappropriate.

  3. William Bennet says:

    Amazing. This is clearly medical malpractice. If I started drawing blood in this manner, even with good intentions, I would be arrested.

    How do they handle the large number of people who have religious objections to the vampiric drawing of their blood for non-medical purposes? Are they simply not allowed to drive because of their religious beliefs in Arizona?

  4. Lone Individual says:

    This is insane. I thought it was satire when I clicked the link. How is this possible?

  5. Alex says:

    Insane. When do the feds come to my house to install cameras and bugs so they can watch and listen?

  6. Me says:

    Holy f#@$ing Christ almighty… this hasn't made national news yet?

    I hope the person who is suing wins in the multiples of millions for medical malpractice since LEO are NOT trained medical practitioners and should not be drawing blood.

    Moreso is the absolute gross violation of civil rights. What sort of fascist country have we become? Jesus H. F#@$ing Christ

  7. Refuse the needle, and if they stick you anyway, charge the officer with assult.
    And by the way, since when can't cops be tried in civil court? If people pressed suit against bad cops, or even good cops following bad orders, I'd wager that law enforcement would become a lot more polite.

  8. elissaF says:

    I'm more concerned about the safety of the community than of any one member of the community. To this end, police should be well-trained in using the needles, however, the goal is to get unsafe drivers off the roads.

  9. JD says:

    Welcome to the soon to be facist America…

  10. Marc Varner says:

    Perhaps the saddest commentary of all on this subject is this. The fact is that this insane, over-reaching, and intrusive violation of individuals rights will not stop until the state is sued and is forced to pay a huge sum of taxpayer's money. People complain that we have too many lawsuits in the country, but this is exactly why that is the case.

    If the taxpayers must pay the consequences of such stupid policy, then perhaps they should have been allowed to vote on this as a referendum. I can guarantee this would never have passed and been granted as acceptable if put up or a vote. Don't misunderstand me, drunk driving is yet another selfish, indulgent act that American's do which shows no regard or consideration to those around them and if I were King the rule would be simple, Get caught doing it, lose your right to drive for life. However, that cannot turn our country into a police state where enforcement and mere suspicion precede due process. That's called Russia so if you like that sorta thing, move there

  11. Debbie says:

    No amount of medical training of this type is possible for the police forces, drawing blood is a different profession. the police force is having a hard enough time keeping up with the typical police work. Drawing blood is dangerous and invasive. What pissed off cop is going to care about the person he/she wants to draw blood from. The DA just found a way to make more money, by winning cases that the tax payers will have to finance. DAs will do anything to win cases….framing people, go after easy targets like nieve young folks, frame the victim, now draw blood.

  12. Marc Varner says:

    From Civics 101 – That's called Socialism and there is an Air France flight leaving for Paris in 15 minutes that would put you in that environment. We are all on a slippery slope when we start doing things "for the good of the community". That is idealist language and reasoning that when expanded can justify almost any number of intrusions that police, politicians, etc can roll out under the banner of "For the good of the masses". Not trying to say we are there – yet – but I will point out that the selling of such philosophies is how most Dictator's or oppressive governments came to power and convinced a population that their actions were "in the best interest of their countrymen" I'll remind you that our country was formed to flee exactly such repression from a Monarchy, which is why we formed a Republic.

  13. Riplakish says:

    Might be time to push the right of self locomotion a little harder.

  14. Loren says:

    If it's all about safety, then the cops shouldn't be at all hesitant to reciprocate. If the cop won't submit to a blood test to prove his soberness I'm not about to let him stick me on the same grounds.

  15. […] Motorists Forced To Let Officers Draw Blood Samples At DUI Stops […]

  16. Me says:

    Community good? COMMUNITY GOOD?

    Giving police the right to stick an average citizen with a needle is NOT community good.

    To the person who said we're becoming a fascist state… that's like the frog thinking the bubbling water is starting to feel warm.

  17. Don't Drink and says:

    If you drink and drive, you face the consequences. I think they should be able to do this to get the conviction. Keep the drunks off the streets and get them convicted.

  18. […] just seems plain wrong! Since when are police officers medically trained? There have been an increasing number of police […]

  19. Ugly American says:

    "Amendment 4

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    In other words, they need an order issued by a judge. I don't care what some paper pushing closet fascist says – until the US Constitution is amended the cops who do this and anyone who supports them are breaking the law.

    Also, practicing medicine without a medical licence is a felony in every state.

  20. Douglas Guerra says:

    Hey Marc. I appreciate your outrage about this practice however you´re a bit off the mark when you say the French and Russians are subject to these practices. Driving in France is bad but no one in that country would put up with this. I´m not sure about the former Soviet Union but a neighbor of mine, a recent former resident of Russia, could hardly believe this was happening in ANY country. When it comes to traffic enforcement, it´s too bad the US has become the same type of oppresive dictatorship from which it was supposedly protecting its citizens.

  21. Stephanie Bond says:

    Are you kidding me? I would cheerfully lose my license for a year rather than allow some macho, marginally trained peace office to stick a needle in my arm. After they take your blood they now have a sample of your DNA. It sounds to me like a "slick" way to build a DNA bank of "problem" people. What's next? Taking blood samples of everyone as they're born and building a DNA database? Anyone who thinks they live in a free country put your arm in the air and wave it around!!!

  22. Jim Walker says:

    I lived and worked in Moscow, Russia from late 1991 to early 1994, as the first General Director of the first Chevrolet dealership in the former Soviet Union. Russian traffic police, the G.A.I. (guy-eee), had the right to take blood samples at the side of the road and the legal alcohol tolerance level for drivers was ZERO. Smart people carried their own sealed and sterilized needles in case that happened to them. Smarter people (including me)learned where the GAI tended to have their traps and took other routes. I was never stopped for suspected DUI, though I often drove after having some wine with dinner and having a likely BAC of .02 to .06.

  23. wardoc says:

    I am a physician, with experience in ERs, hostpials and private clinic practice. We have RNs, that means REGISTERED NURSES, who draw blood, or, alternatively, Certified Medical Technologists, or Certified Phlebotomists, depending on the setting. No where in medicine does a non certified goon draw blood or even touch patients.
    To let a thug cop with an average IQ of 89, an authoritarian/schizotypal personality profile, and NO experience in health care, draw blood is moronic at best. I just wonder what makes these goons think they have the skill to do a blood draw; just because they can beat an innocent person until they bleed doesn't mean they can draw blood medicinally.
    Just remember, without the POLICE, you can't have a POLICE STATE. Everyone needs to remember that when TSHTF.

  24. Billinaz says:

    Well, Doctor (probably a Doctor of Philosophy) before you start slinging phrases like thug and assert others IQ level maybe you should check your own.

    Officers have been drawing blood after the sucessful completion of the phelebotomy course for several years now. I would bet they are much more proficient than any Doctor out there.

    As for those who say they would just loose their license, after you are served with the license suspension comes an applicaiton to a Judge via fax for a search warrant. If it is granted and served to you then you no longer can refuse.

    Continue to refuse and you will be strapped into a restraint chair and the blood draw will be done then.

    A one year license suspension and a DUI conviction is usually the result on those cases.

  25. wardoc says:

    MD, FYI; you're obviously a thug cop or a family member of a thug cop. WTSHTF, you will be remembered by those you know and abuse, I'm sure. BTW; can you cite the 4th Amendment, or, can you even tell me what its about? Or, do you even know about these Amendments that supposedly protect citizens. Of course you don't, THUG. Read the Bill of Rights before you shoot your mouth off.

  26. Texas Rebel says:

    Are we "The People" going to put up with this draconian police state crap? Just resist and say hell NO!! So what if you are arrested? Sue their arse for your civil rights being violated! Call you State Reps. & Senators and demand that they rescind this law!!

    Then join the Ron Paul American revolution to resist this type of government nation wide in 2008. <a href="” target=”_blank”>

    Read this:

  27. Metroplexual says:

    What happens when the cops accidentally stick themselves afterward which happens to doctors and nurses on occasion with sober patients? You are talking about blood draws in the field from people displaying signs of drinking and moving around.

    They would have to get permission from the donor to check for Hepatitis or god forbid HIV. If it were me getting blood drawn I would tell the cop to stick it.

  28. Tac-Medic says:

    hey guys, quit the cop-bashing. (sorry, im biased, ive been on the FBI hostage rescue team for 5 years) but it should be obvious that letting untrained cops draw blood is a horrible idea! I have had to draw blood from suspected DUI perps, and FYI its not easy. I think drawing blood in the field should be restricted to tactical medics and paramedics and THATS IT!

  29. Dave says:

    What was wrong with the brethalyzer? Seemed to do the trick.

  30. […] How the hell is this even legal? Cops are now authorised to draw blood from people (you know, I read stuff like this and really figure we’re so fucking far gone that there’s no point of getting out of bed anymore. Every single day it’s some new and better way to feel violated each and every second of the day). […]

  31. Linda says:

    I would never let a police officer draw blood for one a person does not know if they are certified to do this and also there should be no reason that you could not have a hospital do this. I think the people of that state need to stand up and demand this be stopped!

  32. blake says:

    I would sue instantly if this was attempted to be forced on me!!!!!!!!!!

  33. mike-11 says:

    tell them you have aids and see
    how quick they give you a
    breathalizer instead-keep telling
    them be careful i have aids-dont
    stick yourself-why are you shaking?

  34. Allan Camper says:

    WAKE UP AMERICA! What is it going to take for true americans to wake up and take back control of our country. CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE.

  35. ABC says:

    Don't Drink and Drive This person is the type that has gotten this country in the mess we are today! Obviously mentaly unstable and poorly educated. You are not able to make rational decisions or use lodgic and common sence to make realistic coments or decisions. Pull your head out of your A$$ and look around!

  36. Tim says:

    I am a phlebotomist, and was required to complete a three month training program before being allowed to collect blood samples without supervision. I highly doubt that these law enforcement officers are given even close to what is normally required of a phlebotomist.

    I am very interested in knowing exactly how much training these officers must have before being sent out to collect blood samples.

  37. Tom says:

    Do they use an alcohol swab on the stick site before they draw? Do they sneak a quick swipe of alcohol from the swab on and IN the needle before they stick? Instant high blood alcohol reading! The very same no morals, no scruples gestapo who figured out how to get trees to register 40 mph on radar will have no problem figuring out how to rig a blood/alchohol test. Try to prove your innocence when you're presumed guilty until proven innocent. George Orwell was a prophet.

  38. April says:

    I have read the article about officers drawing blood from suspected DUI drivers and the 35 responses. The general consensus seems to be that most people think that untrained people drawing blood from others is a dangerous (if not downright stupid) idea.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that only those trained to perform venipuncture(the act of drawing blood) should be allowed to do so. My sister, without any measurable skill or a doctor's permission, drew my father's blood. My sister's action freaked me out as I saw it as an act of abuse. I am sure that my father did not give informed consent, as I believe he is afraid of her. I reported her to two different health-type boards in her state and neither one found her guilty of wrongdoing. I, of course, am stunned at the Boards' feckless responses.
    I recognize that my situation is not about police officers taking blood, but as I said in the beginning, I am relieved to see that public consensus seems to be that untrained, non-medical personnel (whether they are police officers or deranged people like my sister) should not be drawing blood.

  39. aNurse says:

    This is ridiculous. If a cop says he wants to take my blood, I'll just offer to give him a urine sample instead. Which shoe, pig?

  40. Galen_Cop says:

    Damn, aNures
    What's with all the cop hatred?
    As a police officer, I don't care who is telling me to draw blood or what kind of training they give me, I will not draw blood on a suspect; just sounds wrong to me, and I would not feel comfortable doing it! I have not heard of this in Illinois yet, and I hope that I don't.
    But it Sounds like the law had to be applied to you at some point, aNurse, maybe a little salty about the DUI you received? People love the law, until it is applied to them.
    Chill out!

  41. […] training should not be playing around with people’s health, no matter the legal ramifications. Motorists Forced To Let Officers Draw Blood Samples At DUI Stops | National Motorists Association Bl… ^ i found that after i had clicked on this story about how breathalyzers are 23% off It’s […]

  42. Mr.Dana Fogg says:

    I am highly against drinking and driving,but there is no reason what so ever that a person that is not medically trained and licensed to draw blood from a person should be allowed to do it.


    It is very possible to introduce bacteria into the site where blood is drawn if not using sterile procedure..and since we can have mrsa on our skin it is even more scary. We need to stand up for our rights or soon we will not have any. Also it the blood is not drawn and the tubes not inverted properly the blood alchol can be elevated form coagulation and fermentation….think about that……

  44. Matt says:

    Just tell the officer you have AIDS and he's putting himself at risk.

    See if he offers you the breathalyser then.

  45. Bruce says:

    To ~Galen, who wrote "People love the law, until it is applied to them."

    Wrong. I have been charged with no crime in the last 35 years, certainly never one involving DUI, and never convicted of any criminal offense or misdemeanor other than for failure to contest traffic and/or parking tickets. But I do not love the law when it is abused, regardless of whom the victim of such abuse is.

    Based solely on your post in this thread, I could allege that it appears to me that you are exactly the type of L.E.O. who abuses such power, and that to the extent that you feel justified in your absolute power, you have already been absolutely corrupted. Were I to make such unfounded allegations, would you not feel unjustly categorized?

    Five percent of the public at large may be criminally inclined, but if the figure is really that high, it is probably that high for police as well. The badge does not make you perfect. It does not enhance your judgment, or make you the only person who can know the truth in any given situation. It does not make you a reliable judge of character based on the writings of people who disagree with you in this forum. It does not make you qualified to drive safely while disobeying the same traffic laws your subjects must obey, just as it does not qualify you to draw blood with or without consent of subjects. What the badge is supposed to do is to remind you that your power must be exercised with great responsibility.

    Yes, obviously, aNurse's remarks were inflammatory. So were yours. You are supposed to know better, and rise above such baiting. If you are not comfortable with that, your discomfort becomes cause for my concern. Illinois already has a reputation for its death-row of DNA-exonerated people wrongly convicted by a very efficient system of injustice.

  46. […] Also bizarre (and causing me to shiver with that full-on gaaaaah! effect), this story. […]

  47. […] case, the officers inflicted permanent physical damage on the suspect. There’s also a case pending in Arizona where a forced blood draw done by a cop resulted in a persistent infection in the suspect’s […]

  48. […] can use “extreme force” to extract blood from you if you refuse to give. Stories of injuries from dirty needles and brutal cops are already coming forward. MADD has done its job of destroying the […]

  49. […] case, the officers inflicted permanent physical damage on the suspect. There’s also a case pending in Arizona where a forced blood draw done by a cop resulted in a persistent infection in the suspect’s […]

  50. Officer Josh says:

    Ha ha this is great i mean people love the police until they get in trouble. I dont totally like the idea of drawing blood myself nor does my state do it but i have a friend that his state does and he must go through a class tought by nurses and must pass a written and practical exam. People just dont have respect for police and the laws are geared for the violator and not the police i mean alot of cops are afraid to do there job since we can now get sued so easily. I was stationed in germany when i was in the military and the german police didnt play i mean they would beat you down infront of everyone if you were out of line. I mean no one messed with the cops there b/c there was still fear and respect. there is no fear and respect in the U.S. for cops and this is a big problem. Honestly in germany they take your blood right there when they pull you over. We were briefed that if we did get pulled over that it would be a good idea to give blood if they ask because they would litterally beat it out of you if you refuse. Thats the truth no exageration on that. All im saying is give us our police powers back!