New Law Allows EMS Workers to Draw Blood from Ohio DUI Suspects

A new Ohio law permits emergency medical services employees to draw blood in situations where there is motorists are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and have caused an accident.

When gathering evidence to test for blood alcohol content or presence of drugs, there is a less than three hour window that yields a more accurate result. Previously, law enforcement officers would have to transport Ohio DUI suspects to a hospital for a blood draw. By allowing EMS workers to take samples, evidence is collected sooner and the officers can focus on the DUI site investigation.

During 2007, more than 19,000 motorists were arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in Ohio.

The Ohio state board of emergency services initially opposed the new measure, but then signed off on it. The board is developing blood draw guidelines for the nearly 1300 EMS agencies across the state.

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