Our county attorney wants to start a DWI "no refusal" blood draw program here. There is no hospital in our county, so he wants the cops, after they get a search warrant, to go to the EMS office and have them draw the blood. He asked EMS what that would cost and they came back with $140.00. Which strikes me as bloody high.
Does anyone else use EMS for drawing the blood? If so, what does your EMS charge for the service and how is it paid? Can you require the def. to pay the cost of the blood draw as a condition of probation?
Our office serves two other counties which do have a hospital. I hope this program will eventually be used there, so I'm curious what hospitals charge for drawing DWI suspects' blood as well.
Our agreement with the local hospital is $100 per blood draw.....and the cost is paid by each person put on probation as a condition, or paid as a condition of a plea even on some cases where the sentence is jail time....
However, the hospital understands there will be occassions where the defendant will not pay and they have agreed to not charge the county for those. Essentially, we collect those we can, and are dillegent about trying too, and the hospital works with us in good faith knowing we try....
Their lab folks who do the blood draws are there working anyway so it doesn't cost them anything.
Hope this helps...it has worked for us so far.
Thanks. That seems like a workable situation. What county are you in?
Require your officer to observe the blood draw. That way you don't need the nurse/phlebotomist for chain of custody. Reduces the likelihood that hospital personnel will have to testify.
If we can help, let me know.
In your experience, who normally pays for blood draws, whether under a warrant, vountary, or under the mandatory provisions of 724.012(b)? Our agency has run into a situation where we were told that it is our responsiblity to pay for blood draws. That is not in the budget, so I'm curious what the normal payment procedure is in your counties.
No one is asking to be paid here. We explained that it is in everyone's interest to save resources by reducing the injury cases that come in because of intoxicated drivers and they have been team players. I guess just one more reason to brag on the folks in Wharton county.
Many counties have privatized their jails. Johnson County did so a couple of years ago.
The elected County Attorney (Bill Moore) added language into the jail contract that jail nurses would do DWI blood draws. The nurses are on duty 24/7, so blood draws become part of their normal duties.
Personally, I think this is an excellent idea.
Our sheriff paid for medical personnel at the jail to be trained in phlebotomy. So, now we have blood draws for free 24/7 at the jail. That is the way to go. Still can use the hospital if there is an accident or no phlebotomist. Hospitals appreciate the county effort.
Are hospital fees the only ones your counties are realizing? For 100% no refusals or "no refusal" weekends, do your magistrates expect payment for their services in issuing warrants at all hours of the night?
Is there anyone seeking reimbursement from the defendant for these costs as well?
I bought fax machines for every magistrate in the county to put in their home, so they are not required to drive to the jail in the middle of the night. To me, it would seem unethical for a magistrate to get paid for issuing a search warrant. (Also, isn't that part of their job description?) Our magistrates were already rotating being "on call" weekly and my officers have their calendar so they know who to wake up in the wee hours. I try and collect $50 as restitution for our hospital as part of the DWI resolution for their assistance with blood draws. This system has worked very well for our small county.
we provided fax machines as well to each magistrate. they rotate on a weekly baisis, so it works out to being "on call" one week a month, roughly. No additional compensation.
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