Databasing Arizona


If you ever get the urge to expose yourself in Arizona—and really, who doesn't?—be ready to give a DNA sample upon your arrest. And be ready for the sample to stay in the state's database.

Oh, and be ready for the sampling even if you're merely accused of the crime, and booked. No conviction necessary.

Supporters say the move provides an expanded crime-solving tool for law enforcement and compared taking a DNA sample to taking a mug shot or fingerprints at the time of arrest. Current law requires DNA samples only after a person is convicted of certain felonies.

"As we build that database, more people will be caught before police have to stake out a hotel room and wait for a second victim," said Sen. Chuck Gray, R-Mesa, a former police officer who is the measure's key backer.

The provision, part of the state budget package, is now waiting action by Gov. Janet Napolitano, who is expected to sign the overarching bill as part of the agreed-upon state budget.

The idea has opposition from the Democratic left and the GOP right, but not enough to slow it down.