Colorado Police Plan to Take Blood from “Uncooperative Suspects”

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Kevin Vaughan
The Denver Post
May 22, 2009

One Colorado police chief is preparing to launch a controversial practice in the fight against drunken driving by seeking search warrants that would give his officers the power to have blood drawn from uncooperative suspects.

To Chief Bruce Kozak of the Avon Police Department, the blood in a suspected drunken driver’s veins is no different than a gun next to a murder victim — evidence that must be collected by investigators.

“This is actually a search warrant to search a person for evidence of a crime, ” Kozak said of the plan he intends to implement this summer. “We believe the blood, of course, of a suspected drunken driver is very important evidence.”

Kozak’s plan is part of the “100 days of heat” crackdown on drunken driving by law enforcement agencies across Colorado. Kicking off this Memorial Day weekend, the unprecedented summer-long effort will involve 150 sobriety checkpoints and increased enforcement around holidays.

Kozak’s proposal is the most controversial, and it’s far from clear whether it will stand up in court.

“He’s going to run afoul of established case law and statutes,” predicted legal analyst Scott Robinson.

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