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Illinois Court Blocks Forced Blood Draw from Motorists

Second highest court in Illinois denies police right to use force to draw blood from drivers.

An increasing number of states allow police to use any level of force needed to take blood from a motorist accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). In
Ohio and Texas this procedure is explicitly authorized by statute. In Washington, the state Supreme Court decided to sanction the practice on its own authority. Last Tuesday, the Illinois Court of Appeals was unwilling to take that extreme step.

A three-judge panel upheld a trial court's determination to suppress the evidence created when police held Jacqueline Farris down and forcibly drew her blood. On May 12, 2009 at around 10:30pm, Officer Kevin Orms arrived at the scene of an accident in the village of Bradley and found Farris behind the wheel of one of the vehicles involved. She smelled of alcohol. Orms had her taken to the hospital where he asked for consent to draw her blood. Farris refused. Officer Orms then ordered a nurse to take the blood by force. Three personnel were required to hold Farris down because she resisted.


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