Impaired Driving Grant Results: Georgia Impaired Driving Grant Results: Georgia
Resource Type
State Highway Safety Showcase

In Georgia, law enforcement officers are permitted to obtain blood samples of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) suspects. Chemical evidence is crucial to DUI cases and a blood test can provide prosecutors with a more accurate measure of an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, finding a facility to provide quick and safe blood draws has been a challenge for Georgia officers, as medical facilities often turn down requests without the arrestee’s consent, creating a roadblock to obtaining DUI convictions. and GHSA awarded grant funding to the Georgia Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) to establish a phlebotomy program to train law enforcement officers to be qualified phlebotomists, enabling them to draw blood from suspected drivers for alcohol, drugs or both. Funding was also used to purchase equipment needed to safely perform blood draws in the field.

Training Image

Each officer was provided with a field bag containing phlebotomy supplies (gloves, alcohol prep wipes, tourniquets, and sterile tubes), allowing them to complete multiple tests per shift. By the end of the project, almost one-quarter (23%) of the state’s counties now have a trained law enforcement phlebotomist.

To support the trained officers, 30 county jails/sheriff booking rooms were provided and equipped with professional phlebotomy chairs, and almost 20% of all counties received a phlebotomy chair. This ensures that the trained officers have a space to conduct safe and hygienic blood draws on impaired driving suspects.

Grant Impact

Since these officers can now independently draw a suspect’s blood, the time to complete a stop is drastically reduced, allowing them to be back on the road an hour earlier than if the blood draw was done at a local hospital or jail. These trained officers are also able to better assist in the prosecution of DUI cases and address defense attorney arguments questioning the safety and/or accuracy of the blood draws.

“The response we have gotten to this program has been positive, and a number of agencies state have indicated they want to have officers in their department with this certification,” said GOHS Law Enforcement Services Director Roger Hayes.

GOHS will continue to support the law enforcement phlebotomy training program, which has been added to the Georgia Public Safety Training Center’s regular curriculum. They plan to host six classes annually.

Resource Category
State Highway Safety Showcase