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How Far Will Police Go To Get Your Blood in a DUI case?

Posted by Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney | Aug 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

Police Officers May Go Inside Your Body For Evidence
Police brutality doesn't happen all that often; but when it does, you'll usually see it on the news (especially if there is video footage of the incident). That's because there is a near-universal sense that using excessive force to subdue a suspect is not only wrong, but it also flies in the face of everything we hold dear in America.

That is, unless you are pulled over for drunk driving in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Apparently, police officers there won't take "no" for an answer when it comes to administering a blood alcohol test. In that county, if you are stopped by police on suspicion of DUI and refuse to submit to a breath test, you face the possibility of being forcefully held down by officers and/or placed in a headlock while blood is drawn from your body without your consent. (Video of this horrendous practice can be found here.)

In Washington and throughout the U.S., there have been pushes to toughen DUI penalties and streamline processes for obtaining evidence to be used in DUI prosecutions. One such initiative involves "refusal" periods where officers can contact a judge at all hours of the night in order to obtain a warrant to draw blood from DUI suspect who has refused to provide a breath sample.  Several years ago a  Seattle DUI case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Washington after Seattle Police Officer Eric Michl used the warrant process to obtain someones blood.  (The blood was taken by medical staff at Harborview Hospital.)

While the execution of this practice isn't always consistent, at least the principle of requiring a judge's okay before rights are revoked is still in place. But in Gwinnett County, Georgia, authorities are either purposely ignoring constitutional law or rubber-stamping warrants for blood draws. Either way, it doesn't resemble the America most of us wish to live in.

About the Author

Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney

Highly rated by former clients, who praise his warm, knowledgeable courtside manner and his fierce determination to reduce or eliminate charges. An accomplished speaker, author, and leader in DUI defense statewide Kevin is well respected by judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys across the State of Washington for his expertise, integrity, and knowledge in the complicated forensic science area of impaired driving allegations.


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