Harris County DWI Blood Draws - Look to Austin for Help

According to the Austin American Statesman, the Travis County (Texas' capital county), Commissioner's Court approved a plan that would allow the city of Austin and Travis County to share the cost of employing a phlebotomist at the county jail to draw blood from those suspected of DWI.  The reasoning, save the taxpayers money.  Not a bad reason to try something new. 

Hiring a non-cop (someone with blood drawing experience) to draw blood sure does seem like a better idea than having cops draw blood.  Harris County, however, is in the process of training police officers to draw DWI suspects blood.  Let the cops do what they do and let the medical people do what they do.


Harris County should take a page out of Austin's book and have a medical person draw blood.  Keep the cops away from needles.

Cops Should Not Be Able to Draw DWI Supects Blood - Leave That to the Medical Professionals

As I reported back in September of 2009 and as Paul Kennedy writes about this week, the Houston Police Department began making arrangements for some of its officers to be trained to take blood from citizens they arrest for DWI in Harris County. 

As KPRC reports, the Houston Police Department currently has 7 police officers enrolled at Lone Star College to become phlebotomists - people that draw blood.  Unlike what happens now, the cops will now be taking our citizen's blood.  As I have said before, cops have no business taking the blood of our citizens - leave that job to the medically trained professionals. 

Just like I don't want nurses and doctors carrying guns and enforcing the law at hospitals, I sure don't think the police should be drawing blood.

To watch the KPRC video, click here.

Houston DWI Cops Drawing Blood - Is the training adequate?

The Houston Police Department hoped to have police officers certified to draw blood; however, there have been delays because several of the officers have not had proper vaccinations.  Before training to become phlebotomists, the officers must first become current with their vaccinations.

The training these officers will undertake is less than what is required by a nurse or doctor to draw blood.  The government does not seem to be phased by this reduced blood draw requirement.  I am, however, concerned about the police drawing our citizens blood.  Now we are learning that the police will receive less training than a nurse or doctor on the procedures for drawing blood from a misdemeanor DWI suspect. 

How about this for an idea - get a qualified doctor, nurse or phlebotomist tot draw our blood - not a cop!  There are certain things I want only a health care professional to do and drawing my blood is one of those things.  Just like I don't want a doctor, nurse or phlebotomist making arrests, I don't want a cop sticking a needle in me.