In some counties in Georgia, drivers suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence might be forced into submission for a blood draw as evidence — and it’s completely legal.
Back in April the Supreme Court said if cops wanted to forcibly draw blood from a drunk driving suspect, they needed a warrant. And police in Georgia are getting them to exercise this practice, according to WAGA-TV.
The outlet reported that the blood draws occur with a warrant after suspects refuse taking a breathalyzer test.
Even with a warrant, the blood draws are forcible for those who would otherwise refuse them. One of the anchors calls the footage obtained by the station showing such situations “disturbing video.” Footage shows suspects being strapped to a gurney — most of them forcibly — and a nurse drawing their blood to test its alcohol level, which could be used against them in court.
“What country is this? What country is this?,” one suspect, Michael Chororsky, yells while being strapped down, raising his head from the gurney.
“We are all American citizens and you’ve got me strapped to a table like I’m in Guantanamo f***ing Bay,” Chororsky said later in the report. He has not yet gone to court and claims to be not guilty.
“I understand that police have a job to do, but what happened to me in that room is unnecessary,” he said.
David Boyle, a defense attorney, told WAGA that the practice of forcible blood draws, even with a warrant, is “really intrusive.”
“…that level of invasive procedure into somebody’s body is ridiculous, especially for investigating a misdemeanor,” Boyle said.
Watch the full report about forcible blood draws:
A county sheriff in WAGA’s report said more people taking advice to not submit to any field sobriety tests has made law enforcement’s job more difficult, which is why deputies began getting search warrants to draw blood in 2006.
“It is what it is. If they’re not guilty, they’re not guilty. If they’re guilty, they’ve got to face the consequences,” Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller said.
In Gwinette County, every DUI suspect — compliant or not with the blood draw — is strapped to gurney and put in a head grasp, according to WAGA.
Lt. Col. Carl Sims with Gwinette County Sheriff’s Department explained that while strapping down people who aren’t resisting a forced blood draw might not look good, it is a precaution authorities need to take.
On a similar issue, the Supreme Court earlier this month ruled taking cheek swabs upon arrest to obtain DNA without a warrant was allowable for authorities.