NYC: Police DWI Case Leads to Policy Reform

New York police may soon be able to get expedited warrants to conduct involuntary blood-alcohol tests on drunk-driving suspects, the New York Times reported Nov. 14.

The policy, drawn up by the New York Police Department and local district attorneys, will allow officers to seek a warrant as soon as a suspect refuses a voluntary blood-alcohol test; the current procedures effectively prevented police from securing a warrant until the suspect was brought to the station house.

The change came after two NYPD officers were involved in a fatal crash and refused to take breath tests at the scene. In one case, a blood-alcohol test wasn’t conducted until seven hours after the crash, and no trace of alcohol was found. The new rules are expected to speed up warrant-driven tests by two hours or more.

Some states don’t require a court order to draw blood samples from drunk-driving suspects.

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