DWI Blood Draw Turns Violent

In July police responded to a hospital after a patient was involved in a car accident earlier in the day. Suspecting that the patient had consumed an impairing substance, police wanted to draw the person’s blood for testing to turn up evidence of impairment.

But police lacked a warrant, and lacked exigent circumstances. The case law is clear: In Missouri v. McNeely, the Supreme Court ruled that forced blood draws are unconstitutional and that blood draws require a warrant where consent is not given. The nurse was correct in her application of the law.

But police were having none of it, and physically forced the nurse from the room by pushing her even though she was simply doing her job.

The only reason we know this is that one of the officers was wearing a body cam that was recently released.

The episode highlights once again an increasingly frequent problem with law enforcement: aggressive and sometimes violent encounters with citizens who, by all accounts, have not behaved aggressively toward police.

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Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.