New System Allows Police Officers Almost Instant Access to Warrants for Blood Draws
If you’re stopped for a DUI in the greater Phoenix area, you need to be aware of a new system put in place by the Phoenix Police Department called the “eSearch Warrant Application.” This new system allows Officers to quickly and easily obtain a warrant for a blood sample should a DUI suspect refuse to consent to a blood draw.
Prior to implementation of this system, if you were pulled over for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and refused to give a blood sample, you would be taken to the police station where the arresting officer would have to type or write up a warrant, fax it to the Court and wait – often an hour or longer – for the warrant to be approved by the Judge. In 2013, the Phoenix Police Department handled over 6,over 130 DUI cases and, in some of those cases, warrants were required before blood draws could be made. Factoring in the time it took to return to the station, fill out the warrant and wait for the Judge to sign and return the warrant to the officer, there was a very real possibility that the blood alcohol evidence could be compromised.
Now, officers are able to send a warrant directly to the Judge from their patrol car’s computer. The Judge can then approve or deny the warrant directly from the bench in between cases. Turnaround time on issued warrants can now occur in as little as ten minutes. Blood draws can be done in the field, instead of at the police station or hospital, as Phoenix has 110 officers who are trained to draw blood from a detainee. These Search Warrant Centers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With the implementation of this new system, the Phoenix Police Department is relying on blood results rather than breathalyzers, as blood tests are generally thought to be much more accurate. Breathalyzers are now used only in instances where, for whatever reason, blood cannot be drawn.
Police agencies hope the implementation of this system valleywide will aid in their mission to deter people from drinking and driving.