Hospital Refuses to Take Blood

Police Hit Roadblock in DUI Investigation

Police say Danny Balderas was drunk, but when they drove him to Metro
General to get a blood sample they didn’t get any cooperation.

Witnesses told police Balderas’ was driving his SUV on Woodmont
Boulevard when he ran through the traffic light at Hillsboro Road.

Danny Balderas was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly
weapon after Metro police said he drove through an intersection and
slammed into another car, injuring a female passenger.

Police found alcohol in Balderas’ SUV. The officer also smelled
alcohol on his breath and said Balderas was slurring his speech. The
officer said he took a field sobriety test and he failed it.

When they took him to the hospital for a blood alcohol test, he said
he only had some drinks with dinner.

When the officer took Balderas to Metro General to have blood drawn,
he says the nurse on duty and supervisor would not do it because Balderas
would not consent.

The accused drunk driver refused to take a breathalyzer or have blood
taken, but according to the arresting officer, under state law a hospital
must draw blood for a test even if the arrested person refuses.

The officer then got one of the Davidson County DA’s on the phone in
the middle of the night to tell the hospital about the law.

But the hospital still refused to take the blood.

Now, the family of the victim in the crash has hired an attorney to
look into the legal question.

“There is an exception to the implied consent,” explained Alan
Poindexter. “That is if the person is charged with vehicular homicide or
aggravated assault then you don’t need their consent because of the
exigent circumstances that exist. Now, [if] the blood [is]dissipating
quickly over time and you really don’t have time to obtain a search
warrant, then you can take that blood by force.”

Metro General’s legal department said it has not been able to find any
case law or specific statute giving its staff the authorization or
mandate to take blood without a person’s consent, unless the police have
a police warrant.

The blood sample was not taken, but at this point it doesn’t look like
it will hurt the case, according the officer.

However, without having that BAC, or blood alcohol concentration level
number, Balderas may get a lighter sentence if convicted.

Rescuers had to use the Jaws of Life to get to the victim. Lorie
Kindrat,19, is still in the hospital undergoing surgery.

Her family says she has bleeding in her brain, a cracked vertebrae and
she may lose her eye.

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