New System Allows Police Officers Almost Instant Access to Warrants for
If you’re stopped for a DUI in the greater Phoenix area, you need
to be aware of a new system put in place by the Phoenix Police Department
called the “eSearch Warrant Application.” This new system
allows Officers to quickly and easily obtain a warrant for a blood sample
should a DUI suspect refuse to consent to a blood draw.
Prior to implementation of this system, if you were pulled over for allegedly
driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and refused to give a
blood sample, you would be taken to the police station where the arresting
officer would have to type or write up a warrant, fax it to the Court
and wait – often an hour or longer – for the warrant to be
approved by the Judge. In 2013, the Phoenix Police Department handled
over 6,over 130 DUI cases and, in some of those cases, warrants were required
before blood draws could be made. Factoring in the time it took to return
to the station, fill out the warrant and wait for the Judge to sign and
return the warrant to the officer, there was a very real possibility that
the blood alcohol evidence could be compromised.
Now, officers are able to send a warrant directly to the Judge from their
patrol car’s computer. The Judge can then approve or deny the warrant
directly from the bench in between cases. Turnaround time on issued warrants
can now occur in as little as ten minutes. Blood draws can be done in
the field, instead of at the police station or hospital, as Phoenix has
110 officers who are trained to draw blood from a detainee. These Search
Warrant Centers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With the implementation of this new system, the Phoenix Police Department
is relying on blood results rather than breathalyzers, as blood tests
are generally thought to be much more accurate. Breathalyzers are now
used only in instances where, for whatever reason, blood cannot be drawn.
Police agencies hope the implementation of this system valleywide will
aid in their mission to deter people from drinking and driving.