Police Draw Blood From Patients Without Warrant in Two States

Police in Two States Use Hospitals to Take Motorists’ Blood Without a Warrant

Oregon Appeals court sides with law enforcement…

As part of defendant’s medical treatment, hospital staff had drawn a sample of his blood and tested it, ascertaining that his BAC was .333 percent. After defendant refused to consent to a blood draw, Trooper Dunlap did not seek a warrant for a blood draw. Nor did he ask hospital staff for the results of the blood test. However, pursuant to their duty under ORS 676.260, hospital staff verbally disclosed to Dunlap that defendant’s BAC was .333 percent and Dunlap included that information in his police report. (Source)

Trooper Dunlap did not need to get a warrant, because he knew that the hospital would take motorists’ blood without a warrant and give it to them.

Oregon statue 676.260 says a health care facility “shall notify” a law enforcement officer in the course of treatment when a person’s blood alcohol level exceeds .08 percent or their blood contains a controlled substance. (Source)

Appeals court refuses to consider hospital staff to be state actors…

We need not, and do not, consider whether the fact that OR S676.260 required the hospital staff to disclose defendant’s BAC to law enforcement means that the disclosure constituted state action. (Source)

It does not take a law professor to know, that when private hospitals forcibly take people’s blood without a warrant, they become state actors.

Illinois law enforcement also wants hospitals to do their dirty work.

Supreme Court lets hospitals forcibly take motorists’ blood

Recently, the state (law enforcement) asked the Illinois Supreme Court to allow hospitals to forcibly take motorists’ blood without a warrant.

…The State maintained that defendant had failed to prove that his blood had, in fact, been drawn at the hospital, as there was no evidence introduced at the hearing on the motion to suppress which established that fact. In addition, the State asserted that, even assuming defendant’s blood was drawn, there was no fourth amendment violation because any blood draw performed at the hospital was a private search, not a governmental one, and thus there was no State action. (Source)

The Supreme Court agreed…

…We conclude that, even assuming blood was drawn from defendant at St. Anthony’s, it was a private search that did not implicate the fourth amendment. Accordingly, for this additional reason, the circuit court erred in granting defendant’s motion to dismiss. (Source)

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About Paul Gordon 1520 Articles

Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines.
He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv

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