Police officers will soon be able to perform alcohol blood tests in Georgia. Thanks to a new grant from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, more than 100 officers are about to begin training to be phlebotomists. That means they can draw blood from suspected impaired drivers.
Preferred by Law Enforcement
Police prefer blood tests as evidence because they are usually more accurate than breath tests. Blood tests are able to give a more broad toxicology assessment of a person’s blood. That is because they allow officers to test for additional types of impairment that are not detectable in a breathalyzer test. These include prescription drugs and illegal drugs.
In order to get a blood test done right now, an officer must take a suspect to a qualified medical center to have their blood drawn by a medical professional. This requires a lot of waiting, especially during seasons where clinics fill up because of illness. Each hour that passes, the person’s blood alcohol level declines. This wait can cause the reading to become more inaccurate in relation to the time of the arrest.
Police departments hope that the faster they can draw blood, the more accurate the reading will be for whatever the driver might have in their system. Once officers are trained in phlebotomy, they will be able to house a sanitary location in the police department to draw blood, instead of taking suspects to a clinic.
Blood Alcohol Tests Performed Only with Your Consent
Blood draws are only permitted in Georgia after a driver consents to the test or a judge issues a warrant. Therefore, police must still obtain a warrant or get an arrested driver to agree to the blood draw.
The first officers who will undergo training are state troopers, Georgia Nighthawks (a specially trained DUI unit) and the Georgia H.E.A.T. team (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic.) Training will begin at the beginning of October.
Arrested for DUI? Call Ashley Schiavone
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Georgia, timing is so important! Your best first step is to contact an experienced DUI lawyer that can review the evidence in your case.