Posted on | June 25, 2010 | No Comments
Previously, if you were arrested for a DWI in New York and your blood was withdrawn by an EMT without physician supervision, your case could have been thrown out. A new law will be removing this loophole.
The bill, spearheaded by New York State Senators Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) and Betty Little (R-Queensbury), is named after former Olympian Jack Shea. Shea was killed in 2002 by a drunk driver. The drunk driver that killed Shea used this loophole to avoid prosecution for the death although he had a blood alcohol content of .15.
The loophole comes from a current state criminal law that forbids trained medical personnel, like EMTs, from withdrawing blood during a DWI arrest without having a physician present. Many drunk drivers have escaped prosecution by having their blood evidence thrown out because of the loophole. Right now, only physicians, registered professional nurses, and registered physician assistants are permitted to withdraw blood from an intoxicated driver without supervision.
The new law would allow other medical personnel like clinical laboratory technicians/technologists, phlebotomists, and medical laboratory technicians/technologists, who are trained to withdraw blood to do so when requested by law enforcement. They would need to be under the supervision & direction of a physician, registered physician assistant or certified nurse practitioner or receive the consent of the adult from whom the blood is being drawn.