Our firm tenaciously defends the rights of clients charged with DUI in the state of Washington. Recently, there has been some legislative changes that relate to blood drawing at the scene of an arrest, as well as other factors related to DUI penalties. We want clients to be informed of their rights when they are pulled over for a DUI. Our attorneys have a thorough understanding of the new laws regarding DUI arrests and blood draws, and we can help you pursue a favorable outcome.
Here's What You Need to Know About the New DUI Laws
According to the new DUI laws, body piercings no longer count as foreign objects. Furthermore, those convicted of DUI may have shorter license suspension periods if they enroll in the 24/7 Sobriety Program. This program involves regular alcohol testing through breathalyzer tests done twice a day, and also provides continuous monitoring services through alcohol monitoring bracelets for those who enroll.
Under the new DUI laws, police officers can now become certified as forensic phlebotomists (those who draw blood for testing). This means they can draw blood from defendants at the scene of an arrest under certain conditions:
- The defendant must be lying down, sitting, or reclining
- The blood drawing must not interfere with medical treatment or essential health care
- The defendant must be located in a licensed aid vehicle or ambulance
- The blood must be collected using sterile equipment
- The police officer must obtain a warrant
- The area of puncture on the skin must be cleansed and disinfected
Lakewood Is the First City to Implement These New Regulations
The Lakewood police department in Washington has begun to perform blood draws on drivers suspected of being impaired by drugs or alcohol. In fact, 6 police officers have already completed courses at Bates Technical College to become certified phlebotomists under the Washington Department of Health. Other police departments in the Puget Sound region are now considering the positive or negative impacts of this new practice.
While the police officers claim this will make the process of investigation more streamlined, it poses a serious concern about the rights and safety of arrested individuals. No longer will blood draws be done by unbiased and trained hospital employees. Instead, all the power will be in the hands of arresting police officers. While they must obtain a warrant and be certified in order to perform a blood draw, it is still to be seen whether or not this new procedure will compromise the rights of those arrested.
To learn more, read this article by Steve Kiggins, posted on Q13FOX.com.
Call Our Bellevue Criminal Defense Attorneys Today at (425) 559-9449
At Stein, Lotzkar & Starr, P.S., we have guided numerous clients to successful solutions in Washington. If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI offense, our lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence in support of your case. We can tirelessly uphold your rights and help you seek to lessen or drop the charges. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, our team can provide informative and personal services for your case.
Contact our firm today for a free consultation.