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Exigency — Blood Alcohol — Reasonableness of Procedure

State v. Dennis L. Daggett, 2002 WI App 32, PFR filed 1/10/02
For Daggett: Julie A. Smith

Issue: Whether a warrantless draw of blood, following OWI arrest, is necessarily unreasonable if performed at the jail rather than hospital.

Holding: There is no bright-line rule that a blood draw must be made in a hospital setting to be constitutionally reasonable. Instead, there is “a spectrum of reasonableness”: blood withdrawn by a medical professional in a medical setting is generally reasonable; blood withdrawn by a non-professional in a non-medical setting is problematic. ¶¶14-15. Here, the procedure was performed by a doctor and there was no evidence that the procedure fell outside norms: “In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it is unreasonable to conclude that a medical professional authorized to draw blood under Wis. Stat. § 343.305(5)(b) would perform his or her duties in a manner that would endanger the health of the blood donor.” ¶17. Nor is there any evidence that the jail, though non-sterile, posed any risk. ¶18. The blood test result is therefore admissible.

 

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