Latest Weapon in Fight Against Drunk Driving: Syringes?


That's the headline to this A.P. article highlighting a new, what-could-possibly-go-wrong tactic police are using in Texas and Idaho.

When police officer Darryll Dowell is on patrol in the southwestern Idaho city of Nampa, he'll pull up at a stoplight and usually start casing the vehicle. Nowadays, his eyes will also focus on the driver's arms, as he tries to search for a plump, bouncy vein. 

"I was looking at people's arms and hands, thinking, 'I could draw from that,'" Dowell said.

It's all part of training he and a select cadre of officers in Idaho and Texas have received in recent months to draw blood from those suspected of drunken or drugged driving. The federal program's aim is to determine if blood draws by cops can be an effective tool against drunk drivers and aid in their prosecution.

If the results seem promising after a year or two, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will encourage police nationwide to undergo similar training.

This is all perfectly legal, by the way, courtesy of a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court decision. I guess it's surprising it's taken this long for it to be implemented on a broader scale.