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Law lets Louisiana police demand that drivers give blood samples

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Police in Louisiana are lawfully allowed to demand that drivers give blood samples in cases in which motorists are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol — a "no refusal" policy that's sparking legal debate.

"No refusal means that if you refuse a chemical test once you are arrested for a DWI, that trooper can get a search warrant. That search warrant is for your blood," said Louisiana State Police Trooper Melissa Matey to WVUE-TV. "There are numerous parishes around the state that participate in no refusal 24/7 throughout the year. However during Thanksgiving, you will see additional parishes that come on and promote the no refusal."

Prior to the policy, drivers could lawfully refuse to take a Breathalyzer test or to give a urine or blood sample — and that's precisely what lawyers advise.

Joe Raspanti, a legal analyst, said that he always has steered clients away from giving consent to such tests, WVUE reported. But he also admits what privacy advocates fear: Police are technically within the lines of the law with their "no refusal" policy, The Blaze reported.

Jurisdictions in the state generally have a magistrate on standby to sign the warrant that allows blood to be forcibly drawn from suspects. And even if they didn't, police can take arrested suspects back to the jail for incarceration until a judge is available to sign the warrant, The Blaze reported.

Louisiana courts have found that "no refusal" is lawful, The Blaze said.

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