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September 13, 2009

Vampire Cops: Of course it's a "federal program"

Phoenix Police Department Detective Kemp Layden, of the DUI Squad

First, they come for your breath. Then they come for your blood:
BOISE, Idaho – When police officer Darryll Dowell is on patrol in the southwestern Idaho city of Nampa, he'll pull up at a stoplight and usually start casing the vehicle. Nowadays, his eyes will also focus on the driver's arms, as he tries to search for a plump, bouncy vein.

"I was looking at people's arms and hands, thinking, 'I could draw from that,'" Dowell said.

It's all part of training he and a select cadre of officers in Idaho and Texas have received in recent months to draw blood from those suspected of drunken or drugged driving. The federal program's aim is to determine if blood draws by cops can be an effective tool against drunk drivers and aid in their prosecution.

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

And of course we will all hear, "If we can save one life, it's worth it."

Via: Power and Control: The Police Will Be Sticking It To You

Posted by Vanderleun at September 13, 2009 1:36 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Oh yeah, this is going to work out just fine. (*Seinfeld eye roll*).

I suppose the geniuses who thought up this program weren't counting on a) the increased possibility that both motorists and cops might get hurt as a result of blood-drawing altercations and b) lots of lawsuits.

Memo for the Federal Idiocracy: There are people in this world who would sooner kill or be killed than have a needle forcibly stuck into their arms.

Sleep tight, mates!

Posted by: MarkJ at September 13, 2009 8:16 PM

That was my first thought as well. This is a program that is tailor-made to trigger violence in traffic stops. As dangerous to police as it is to those pulled over. Not a good idea at all.

Posted by: vanderleun at September 13, 2009 8:49 PM

Good luck with that program and my skinny veins. I'm such a hard stick, they usually end up drawing blood from my legs.

Posted by: ExurbanKevin at September 14, 2009 10:40 AM

Why are they trying this in Idaho? Aren't Idahoans a much more independent and cantankerous lot than say, the limpdicked denizens of Seattle? Aren't they also unusually well-armed on average?

And besides, if you drive drunk in Idaho, aren't you most likely to just run off the road and kill and elk or something? I mean, it's not like you're going to swerve and smash through the window of Nordstorm's or anything.

Posted by: Roderick Reilly at September 14, 2009 11:31 AM

They already tried it in Seattle - the needles kept getting clogged with hummus.

Posted by: Andy at September 14, 2009 3:28 PM

I strongly doubt there's been a real problem with people being stopped by police, who were unable to prove they were intoxicated, and then going on to cause an accident, which would be the only scenario that I might consider to justify practices such as this.

I suspect that this is related to the trend of downward-creeping blood alcohol limits -- Breathalizers probably have trouble detecting .07 or .05 or whatever.

Of course, I don't think it's the drivers down at those borderline levels who really cause most drunk driving fatalities. It's the chronic, hard drinking ones who just don't give a damn. The main thing lower limits do is generate revenue and raise conviction rates so that cops and prosecutors get to pat themselves on the back.

Posted by: Umbriel at September 15, 2009 7:47 AM

We are fighting this here in Austin, TX. We have been doing so for about a year now. Here is the most recent info: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKDOOXtfls0


Posted by: Katie at November 7, 2009 2:28 PM

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