eSearch Warrant Application
Officers who suspect a person is driving under the influence may utilize a variety of tests to determine whether the person is in fact impaired. For example, in addition to looking for indicators such as the smell of alcohol or bloodshot eyes, Officers often perform field sobriety tests.
Police also often utilize Breathalyzers to determine whether a driver is impaired.
But, according to Phoenix Police Spokesman Sergeant Steve Martos, “When we used breathalyzers, we still needed an accumulation of different factors in order to use the Breathalyzer. Blood is now taken in lieu of the Breathalyzer as it is a more accurate read on the operator’s blood alcohol content.”
If, however, a driver refuses to willingly submit a blood sample, Officers are required to obtain a warrant.
In the past, Officers were required to type up a warrant from the police station, fax the warrant to the court and wait for the Judge to approve the warrant; a process that could take over an hour.
However, according to Sergeant Martos, Phoenix Police Officers now have the ability to obtain a search warrant, signed by a Judge, from their patrol car within minutes of submitting the request.
The process, known as the eSearch Warrant Application, enables Police to request a warrant from their patrol cars. A Judge may then approve or deny the request from a laptop computer. And, according to Sergeant Martos, a Judge is available to take warrant requests 24 hours a day.
With the new technology, according to Sergeant Martos, Officers generally receive a Judge’s response within ten minutes.
If the Judge approves the warrant, according to Sergeant Martos, one of the 110 trained Phoenix Police Officers will draw the driver’s blood.
According to Superior Court Judge Norman Davis, “Blood alcohol dissipates over time,” and “It’s in everyone’s interest, police and the defendant, to get timely accurate results for evidentiary purposes later on.”
The State, according to Judge Davis, hopes to expand the program to all Valley law enforcement agencies by next year and has applied for a $40,000 grant to make that happen.
Sergeant Martos said the Phoenix Police Department handled more than 6100 DUI cases last year and exclusively utilizes blood tests in DUI cases. According to Sergeant Martos, Breathalyzers are utilized in limited situations where a driver’s blood cannot be drawn.
If you have been arrested for DUI, contact the drunk driving attorneys at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. today!