Beginning Next Month, Anyone Accused of Dui in Las Vegas Can Have Their Blood Drawn on the Spot
LAS VEGAS – Anyone suspected of DUI (driving under the influence) in Las Vegas can have their blood drawn on the spot starting next month. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will have phlebotomists on patrol seven nights a week to take blood samples at traffic stops and accidents.
Currently, the doctors who take blood only work 10-hour shifts for Metro on weekends and holidays.
The Nevada Office of Traffic Safety (NOTS), which gave a $545K grant to pay for the new program, says that drunk driving is the leading cause of fatal crashes in Nevada. (According to NOTS, nearly 43% of all crashes in the last five years were caused by drunk driving.) The program lets phlebotomists ride with police sergeants and go to DUI stops or accidents as needed. It also paid for a police van set up to draw blood.
Police prefer blood tests to breathalyzers because only blood tests can measure the presence of both alcohol and drugs, including cannabis. Both can be used after a DUI suspect fails several field sobriety tests.
DUI suspects can refuse a blood test in the field and instead choose to take one at the jail, which is where the police will take them if they refuse. If they refuse, officers can get a warrant from a judge on call to force a blood draw.
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