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General Assembly votes to expedite  evidence collection in DUI cases

The General Assembly this week passed legislation allowing for faster and more  effective collection of blood samples involving individuals suspected of driving  under the influence in Tennessee.

House Bill 2386, sponsored by State Rep. Ron Gant, R-Piperton, allows an officer to execute a search warrant anywhere in the state for  medical records or test to determine the alcohol or drug content of a person’s blood. The legislation also gives magistrates increased authority to issue warrants to  recover evidence if at least one element of the crime occurred within their  jurisdiction.

“Because evidence of alcohol and drugs metabolizes and dissipates from the bloodstream quickly, this bill… will provide for a timely or more efficient collection of blood  evidence to support the effective prosecution of DUI, vehicular assault, and 

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vehicular homicide offenses,” Gant said Monday.

Additionally, the bill encourages hospitals and health care providers to take a blood  sample as soon as possible when a warrant is issued. The sample should also be  provided to law enforcement expeditiously. 

There were 7,774 wrecks in Tennessee that involved impaired drivers in 2022,  according to the most recent data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and  Homeland Security. There were 575 fatalities and 4,964 injuries as a result.

House Bill 2386 will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

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