When you think about it, your blood probably seems like a pretty personal thing. It is daunting enough to have to have blood samples taken at the doctor’s office, and when it is the police who are collecting the blood tests, there is an added level of sensitivity. In Tennessee, breath tests are apparently not enough in cases of suspected DUI.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that drivers are due a certain level of protection in regards to DWI investigations and blood tests. For the most part, police must have a warrant to ethically collect blood samples from Tennessee DUI suspects.
Samples will undoubtedly be collected in cases involving prior DUI convictions and when there are children in the vehicle. Also, if a crash took place, drivers will be subjected to the blood test collection process, a process that more and more Tennessee officers are preparing to undertake.
Police officers from county to county in Tennessee are going through training courses to all get on the same page about the blood testing requirements and procedures in the state. Especially with the Supreme Court having made a recent ruling on the matter, the pressure is on more than ever for officials to stick to what is legal in order to make charges stick.
Even with the court’s ruling on blood tests, the reality hasn’t changed that authorities need probable cause not just to collect a blood sample but to initiation a traffic stop in the first place. A DUI defense lawyer can evaluate a defendant’s specific situation and determine whether flawed police work resulted in a criminal charge.
Source: WBIR, “Maryville officers train for mandatory blood draws at DUI stops,” Aug. 2, 2013