Indiana judge rules law enforcement to be responsible for costs of blood alcohol tests following arrestsNews
NEW ALBANY, Indiana (WDRB) – A judge in Washington County, Indiana, has ruled that law enforcement agencies requesting blood alcohol tests for an individual are responsible for medical bills.
In most counties in Indiana, if a law enforcement agency orders a person to be arrested for a blood alcohol test, the person arrested is responsible for paying medical bills. In a lawsuit filed in Washington County, New Albany District Attorney Bart Betteau argued the practice needed to be changed.
Judge Larry Blanton agreed, ruling that the agency requesting the test is responsible for the cost.
“Any chemical tests, hospital services of any kind or necessary treatment performed by a law enforcement agency will be the responsibility of the requesting agency, the sheriff’s department, the prosecutor’s office or the county government. , in accordance with the law “, indicates the decision.
Betteau said the move does not prevent law enforcement from requiring a blood test, but holds them responsible for the costs.
“They can have the blood test done,” Betteau said. “Whether by search warrant or simply asking someone whether or not they consent to a test, they can do it. There is no doubt about it. But what can no longer happen, according to the court order. is that the person cannot be billed by the hospital – or for that matter by law enforcement – for the test. “
Blood alcohol tests can sometimes cost an individual between $ 100 and $ 500. New Albany’s lawyer calls these charges unfair.
“These people arrested, taken to hospital, do not want a blood test,” Beteau said. “They certainly don’t ask for it. The sole purpose of it is to benefit law enforcement for the prosecution.
“I also think a nickel would be outrageous.”
The ruling applies in Washington County, but Betteau hopes it sends a message across the state about a practice he calls illegal.
“Indiana state hospitals and law enforcement should be warned that this practice is illegal, and for me it should stop today,” he said. “That was the only reason for the costume.”
Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.