Lawmakers working to tighten Ky. DUI laws about blood tests

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) – Lawmakers need to change Kentucky’s DUI legal guidelines to do away with what they name a loophole.

DUI suspects are allowed to refuse a blood check after a crash proper now, and police mentioned that creates a problem, particularly with drivers below the affect of medication.

On Wednesday, legislators heard from county attorneys who mentioned a call by the Kentucky Supreme Court docket earlier this yr is having a direct influence on their potential to prosecute some DUI instances.

“The McCarthy case holds that going ahead prosecutors at the moment are on discover {that a} DUI arrestee has a constitutional proper to refuse a blood check. And his or her determination to refuse a blood check can’t be testified to by the arresting officer, so the refusal can now not be launched as proof. Nor can it even be commented on by prosecutors,” Woodford County Lawyer Alan George mentioned.

They need to amend the DUI legal guidelines to permit officers to acquire a search warrant when a suspect refuses a request for a blood check.

Consultant Patrick Flannery mentioned he has pre-filed a invoice for the subsequent session. However the actual wording of that invoice remains to be being finalized.

“At present statutory regulation doesn’t enable a search warrant on a DUI case except there’s a demise or bodily harm. We’re going to strike that,” Rep. Flannery mentioned.

George mentioned this impacts drugged driving essentially the most, as a result of there’s no subject check, like a breathalyzer, they will use as proof. He additionally mentioned legal guidelines like this one have gotten extra frequent.

“Based on the newest Moms Towards Drunk Driving report, 34 states already enable for search warrants with none situations within the occasion of a blood check refusal. Together with all seven of our bordering states,” George mentioned.

Lawmakers have been typically supportive, but in addition acknowledged that the unique case might nonetheless find yourself earlier than the U.S. Supreme Court docket.

“You utilize a search warrant another time, apart from that and I feel that’s dumb. And it does tie your palms,” Sen. Whitney Westerfield mentioned.

George Alan mentioned in 2020, 43% of the DUI arrests in Kentucky concerned solely medication, and one other 11% concerned a mixture of medication and alcohol.

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