Unique Phlebotomy class offered to local peace officers needing training to take DWI blood samples

If you're drunk behind the wheel in Arizona, chances are increasing that an officer might draw your blood to prove it.  What does that have to do with Texas?  Thanks to a grant from the federal government, small and midsize police forces are putting officers through a unique five-day course to become trained in the skills of phlebotomy.
On Feb. 22, Lone Star College-North Harris continuing education offered its first course in phlebotomy designed exclusively for peace officers. Autumn Raynor, program manager, health occupations, said, “ Through a partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the governor of Arizona’s office, LSC-North Harris was selected as the first college in the city (and I believe the state) to offer this occupation specific course.” 
According to Texas District and County Attorneys Association, Texas is the deadliest state in the nation when it comes to DWI fatalities and as a result, some law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices have begun to use search warrants to obtain blood samples when suspects refuse to submit to a breath test. Theoretically, every person stopped for DWI in Texas should provide a chemical sample to a law enforcement officer. All Texas drivers have implied consent in order to provide a sample of breath or blood when it is lawfully requested by a police officer making a DWI arrest. However, roughly half of suspects refuse to provide a sample.
Legislation signed by Gov. Rick Perry now allows police to demand blood samples in certain Texas DWI situations—without a warrant. As Texas quickly becomes a ‘no refusal’ state, officers are being trained to perform blood draws on individuals under suspicion of inebriation or chemical induced impairment. The first group of ten officers were from Houston and Montgomery County Police Departments and ten more officers attend training in March.
Lone Star College-North Harris is located at 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, one-half mile south of FM 1960 E, between Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Roads. For more information about the college, call 281.618.5400 or visit: lonestar.edu/northharris.
 
Lone Star College System consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Center, LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. With more than 62,000 students in credit classes this fall, LSCS is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and third largest community college system in Texas. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.
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Mar. 5, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
 Media Contact:
C.C. Sutphen
281.618.5425, desk
281.639.6381, cell