A bill that cleared the House today would let officers get blood samples from some suspected drunken drivers more quickly. Under current law, a person pulled over for drunken driving can resist giving a blood sample, and officials have to go to a judge to get a warrant in order to perform the test. The bill removes that “escape hatch” — as one legislator put it — when someone’s killed or severely injured, and a driver suspected of being drunk refuses a blood alcohol test. Representative Ralph Klemme, a republican from LeMars, says there have been cases where drunk drivers have killed others, but refused a test, a judge took too long, and drunk driving changes couldn’t be filed. Critics, like Representative Mary Mascher, a democrat from Iowa City, said it’s the wrong move.Mascher says it’s something legislators shouldn’t take lightly because the proposal — in her words — is an invasion of personal rights.” Mascher believes the current system is working.The bill passed on an 88 to eight vote, and must clear the Senate and get the Governor’s signature before it becomes law.
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