Houston Police Department Announces Yet Another DWI Enforcement Program

The Houston Police Department has once again announced another Houston DWI Initiative aimed at reducing the number of DWI accidents and DWI fatalities in the Harris County area.  HPD was joined in this announcement by the Harris County District Attorney's Office, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) and Crime Stoppers.

The stated goal is "to reduce drunk driving accidents and associated fatalities by using a combination of public education and heightened enforcement of drinking and driving offenses."

They are once again touting the HPD Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) vans.  These are the mobile DWI investigation vans that HPD and other police agencies use to investigate Houston DWI cases.  They drive the vans to various locations around the city to perform breath tests, blood tests and obtain warrants for blood when a citizen refuses to give blood.

By the looks of the crowd, it doesn't seem like many people were too interested in attending the event.

HPD Vampires - Cops taking our blood against our will

An elected Harris County Criminal Court Judge and a former HPD DWI task force officer confirmed this week that HPD is in the process of training police officers to draw blood from suspects arrested for DWI / DUI.  Wow - the police are now going to be in charge of arresting citizens (normal police function) and also performing a medical procedure (not a normal police function) on a person who is presumed to be innocent (supposedly).

Is it just me, or do others find this to be an incredibly disturbing new revelation?  I expect that a person drawing my blood (for whatever reason) would have medical training and experience in dealing with the problems that might arise when drawing blood.  The police should stick to what they do - arresting people - and let medical personnel handle the taking of blood.

I'm no medical professional, but what if a citizen suffers from hemophilia or any other blood clotting disorder?  Is the cop that takes the blood going to even ask any questions before he/she sticks a needle in someone?

Unfortunately, Houston is not the only city trying to train its officers to forcibly take blood from Texas DWI suspects.  Austin is right there with Houston and there are bound to be many others.  Let me know your thoughts.