Nurse In Utah Arrested For Refusing Police Request For A Blood Draw

In most newspapers, and on most television networks, there has been news coverage of the “Shocking video of a nurse being arrested in Utah for refusing to draw blood from a patient”.

I watched the entire video that was recorded by a Salt Lake City police officer’s body camera, that was approximately 20 minutes in length.  The incident that was recorded on video was not shocking to me, it seemed very logical and just.

Many people are being very vocal about “how horrible the police officer acted”.  I have not heard or seen anyone defending the police officer’s actions.  It is a shame that there are no attorneys, medical doctors, nurses, or law enforcement officials that are explaining and defending the police officer’s actions.

I believe that it has been the practice in the United States for decades, that when there is a traffic fatality, police investigators request blood to be drawn from the drivers involved, whether they are conscious, unconscious, or deceased.  It is very important that this evidence is collected as soon as possible to determine the blood levels of alcohol, legal drugs, and illegal drugs in the drivers’ systems at the time that the accident occurred.

Unlike breathalyzer tests and blood draws that are requested by police when a person is under suspicion for DUI, where it is common for drivers to refuse, when there is a traffic fatality, drivers no longer have the right of refusal.  It is not a DUI investigation, it is now a vehicular homicide/manslaughter investigation.

Here is a brief excerpt about this area of law:

“Several states, like Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas, have laws like Connecticut’s that require police to have drivers who survive an accident resulting in death or serious injury submit to a chemical test if the police have probable cause to believe the person was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some states have upheld these “involuntary” tests in cases where police used reasonable force to obtain blood samples.

Other states, like California, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington, permit police to require these drivers to submit to chemical tests.”

For decades U.S. hospitals have cooperated with law enforcement officials in taking blood draws from drivers following a traffic fatality, because it is a homicide/manslaughter investigation.

Please watch the entire video and listen carefully.  The police detective had made a request for blood to be drawn from an unconscious truck driver that had been involved in a fatal car accident.  The police detective’s request has been denied by nurse Alex Wubbel.  The police detective has waited for some time while nurse Alex Wubbel discusses what to do with other hospital administrators.  The police detective has been instructed by his supervisor, to arrest nurse Wubbel for interfering with a police investigation if she continues to refuse to draw blood from the patient.

Prior to arresting nurse Alex Wubbel, she explains to the detective what the hospital’s policy is for drawing blood for police, the patient has to give consent, be under arrest, or there has to be a warrant.  The police do not have the option #1 or option #2, because the patient is unconscious.

Now, to clarify some things.  The hospital itself had already drawn blood from the patient for their own purposes, to perform various blood test and analysis.  The nurse Alex Wubbel was refusing to draw blood for police purposes, and was citing hospital policy.  There had been some mention that the truck driver was “an innocent victim”.

From the police point of view, hospital policy is not Utah State Law.  How and why is this nurse deciding that her thoughts, opinions, and understanding of hospital policy override law enforcement and Utah State Law?  How and why is this nurse deciding how this traffic fatality is going to be investigated, how evidence is going to be collected, and whether the patient is innocent of any wrongdoing?

In the phone conversation that nurse Alex Wubbel was having with her supervisor in front of the police detective, she began to characterize the detective’s behavior as being threatening.  The police detective had had enough of nurse Alex Wubbel refusing to comply with his request for a blood draw, and he proceeded to arrest her for interfering with a police investigation.

If you have ever seen police arrest a female, as I have seen many times in person, and on the news, it most often goes the same way.  A female will not cooperate with police officers and defy them, no matter how polite, clear, and restrained they are.  When the police try to make an arrest, the female will resist arrest, try to get away, and struggle.  When a police officer has to hold the female with just enough force to keep them from getting away and handcuff them, they start screaming, “Stop, stop, you’re hurting me!  Why are you hurting me!”

All of the people who are not law enforcement officers who see this in person and watch this on video say, “My God, look at what he is doing to her, that’s horrible!”

How would nurses like it, if every time they had to perform a procedure on a patient, the patient started screaming, “Stop, stop, you’re hurting me!  Why are you doing this to me!”  It would get old, wouldn’t it?

When nurse Wubbel is in the detective’s police car, a police supervisor explains to her very clearly, that she is under arrest for interfering with a police investigation.  He explains that it does not matter what her hospital policy is, it matters what the law is.  He asks her why did she decide that she was not going to cooperate with the police detective’s request for a blood draw?  Does she know the truck driver?  Is he a friend or relative of hers?

It is very easy for the Chief of Police in Salt Lake City and the Mayor to issue a statements saying, “…the video is troubling…” or “…the officer’s actions are troubling…”

How would you like it if you were a police detective that had to investigate a police chase, a traffic fatality, other life threatening injuries, multiple inured victims, destruction of property, many different crime scene locations, with difficulty securing all these different crime scene locations, because they are roadways which are currently blocked but must be cleared, in handling just this one incident, and you and other police officers are being held up at the hospital for more than an hour by a nurse that is refusing to collect blood from a patient because of her interpretation of hospital policy.  Blood has already been taken from the patient by the hospital for their own purposes, without his consent.

Most people are making statements and writing comments about “people’s rights” and “people’s consent”.  The fire department showing up and getting people out of vehicles is done without their consent.  The fire department doesn’t say, we have a policy that we only get people out of vehicles if they consent, are under arrest, or there is a warrant.  Likewise, the ambulance EMTs don’t say to the fire department, we only transport people who give consent, are under arrest, or there is a warrant.

The hospital does not say to the ambulance EMTs, we don’t take people unless it is with their consent, they are under arrest, or there is a warrant.  But, the nurse does not cooperate with law enforcement because she is questioning the legality of what they are doing.  Why is that?

It is just assumed that the fire department is there to help.  It is just assumed that the ambulance EMTs are there to help.  It is just assumed that the hospital is there to help.  The hospital can take an unconscious patient’s blood if they want to, because they are there to help.  But when it comes to drawing blood from an unconscious patient at the request of law enforcement, this nurse decides that she needs to look into this.

How about this, what if when law enforcement receives a 911 call from this hospital, or any hospital, instead of heading that way, law enforcement says, “No, no, no, we have to get consent from each of the patients and each of the personnel at your hospital before we come onto the property, because we don’t want to violate anyone’s rights, not everyone might want us to be there.  When you can get consent from everyone, let us know, then we will come.”  The police often have to do their job without people’s consent.

28 thoughts on “Nurse In Utah Arrested For Refusing Police Request For A Blood Draw

    1. I am not sure that I am wrong on the law. For approximately 50 years, blood draws have been mandatory for drivers involved in a fatal vehicle accident. Additionally, licensed commercial drivers have additional requirements from the Department of Transportation to have their blood tested following a serious accident. This is separate from the laws for suspicion of DUI.


      1. 1. The Fourth Amendment permits warrantless breath tests incident
        to arrests for drunk driving but not warrantless blood tests(

        1) Breath tests do not “implicat[e] significant privacy concerns.”

        skinner, 489 U. S., at 626. The physical intrusion is almost
        negligible. The tests “do not require piercing the skin” and entail “a
        minimum of inconvenience.” Id., at 625. Requiring an arrestee to insert
        the machine’s mouthpiece into his or her mouth and to exhale
        “deep lung” air is no more intrusive than collecting a DNA sample by
        rubbing a swab on the inside of a person’s cheek, Maryland v. King,
        569 U. S. ___, ___, or scraping underneath a suspect’s fingernails,
        Cupp v. Murphy, 412 U. S. 291. Breath tests, unlike DNA samples,
        also yield only a BAC reading and leave no biological sample in the
        government’s possession. Finally, participation in a breath test is not
        likely to enhance the embarrassment inherent in any arrest. Pp. 20–
        (2) The same cannot be said about blood tests. They “require
        piercing the skin” and extract a part of the subject’s body, Skinner,
        supra, at 625, and thus are significantly more intrusive than blowing
        into a tube. A blood test also gives law enforcement a sample that
        can be preserved and from which it is possible to extract information
        beyond a simple BAC reading. That prospect could cause anxiety for
        the person tested. Pp. 22–23.


      2. I read several summaries of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2016, over whether or not blood draws could be mandatory in suspicion of DUI cases. The Supreme Court ruled that blood draws can not be mandatory/involuntary in suspicion of DUI cases. Some of the details of the Supreme Court ruling cited the invasiveness of blood draws in comparison to breathalyzer tests, which could be sufficient. (Now that I think about this, how could a breathalyzer test determine cocaine, heroine, oxycontin, hydrocodone, and meth levels? It couldn’t.)

        However, in traffic accidents involving fatalities, many states have laws for mandatory blood draws. Stop and think about this for a moment, in criminal and civil cases that result from a traffic fatality, it is just as important to have irrefutable evidence that a driver was not under the influence of alcohol, or any drug, as much as it is important to have irrefutable evidence that a driver was under the influence. Either way, a criminal or civil court case, guilt or innocence, could rest on the blood samples that were taken.


    2. What law is she wrong on? You need to cite it please.

      The nurse has no statutory authority to act as a judge in determining what is and what is not legal.

      The process is: collect the evidence, defense attorney motions to toss the evidence because it was legally obtained, the judge tosses the evidence. We all do our jobs, and justice is served.

      I agree that the nurse was under no legal obligation to draw the blood. However, if she otherwise interfered with the officer then she is guilty of interfering with a police officer.

      Here are a few case law examples:

      State [of Washington] v. Holeman, “The determination of whether an arrest is lawful is often difficult and should not be left to bystanders who may have only a limited knowledge of the relevant law and who may let their emotions control their judgment.”

      American Fork v. Pena-Flores:,“Although police must have reasonable suspicion in order to make a legal detention, the use of “lawful” in section 76-8-305 does not automatically incorporate this standard in determining whether a person is guilty of interfering with a peace officer. So long as a police officer is acting within the scope of his or her authority and the detention or arrest has the indicia of being lawful, a person can be guilty of interfering with a peace officer even when the arrest or detention is later determined to be unlawful.”

      By analogy, and by incorporating the the specifics of obstruction statutes, I’ll gladly “hazard” the guess that these interference rulings extend beyond interfering with an arrest.


  1. I am a former police officer and find that officers behavior deplorable.We protect the public not victimize them. Also apparently you want to live in a total police state and do not understand the 4th amendment, that SCOTUS has ruled on.


    1. I believe in the procedure that has been in place for at least 50 years in the United States, that when there is a traffic accident involving a fatality, the drivers involved have their blood tested for alcohol, drugs, and illegal drugs. The evidence needs to be collected right then to determine blood levels at the time of the accident, not twelve hours later, not 24 hours later.

      Many people do not like police officers, do not respect police officers, do not cooperate with police officers, and interfere with police officers. In some places, locations, neighborhoods, and environments, there is nothing that the police can do without objection and interference.

      Just like people don’t have to respect police, they don’t have to like what police do, and the police are going to do certain things that no one likes or agrees with. The Salt Lake City hospital ER department was one of those places where someone was not going to cooperate with the police. This was also an instance where the police were going to do something that people didn’t like, arrest a nurse for refusing to draw blood from a patient after a traffic accident involving a fatality. Apparently, no one liked or agreed with the police detective arresting nurse Wubbels for interfering with an investigation, but this law exists for a reason, the police detective enforced this law, and made an arrest. People don’t like it, and they don’t have to like it, the police can enforce the law.

      The police detective Jeff Payne did not use excessive force, and he did not harm the nurse, though she tried to get away, struggle against the officer, and not walk to the police car. Police don’t have to make a happy arrest, a soothing arrest, a friendly arrest, a fun arrest, an enjoyable arrest, an agreeable arrest, a pleasant arrest, or a mutually agreed upon arrest. Many arrests are much angrier than this one as a result of the arrestee bringing it to point where an arrest needs to be made, and then trying to flee, resist, struggle, and not walk once in handcuffs.


  2. The truck driver that was unconscious due to being hit head on by a car driven by a person who was fleeing the police was an innocent victim of this situation. I know the det. was there to do a post accident drug test on the truck driver per USDOT regulations but his actions are sad in the sense that he could have gone around this nurse to someone higher up if he really wanted this blood draw.Also, if he has been doing this for any amount of time he should have known that blood was already drawn on this unconscious victim because that is hospital protocol whenever a person is taken to E.R. under traumatic circumstances. Payne comes off in this video as a flustered, exhausted cop who momentarily abuses his authority. This kind of behavior has to be punished because it can manifest into larger flustered behavior in the future if he encounters another situation where things r not going as he wants and he decides to use even greater unreasonable force. Police have a lot of power over regular civilians and if they can’t conduct themselves as professionals 100% of the time then I don’t want them in my community . I have often felt certain aspects of their jobs, like going to a hospital to get blood from a post accident victim can be handled by a non sworn liason (volunteer or non sworn reserve). Payne belongs out on the streets, as shown by his behavior in this situation, and I bet he would agree.In regards to your comment about women acting a certain way when they get arrested, I was disapointed in how the nurse acted but I think she acted that way because she is new to having cuffs put on her. There are plenty of women out there that are calm and composed when they are getting arrested, their mind is on what is their bail going to be, can they get an O.R etc., etc. You forget that there are people out there that are not used to being arrested so its traumatic for them, men and women.You have to remember, men get arrested in greater numbers than women so a women arrestee is always gonna stick out because there numbers are smaller.So one gal getting squirmy while getting cuffed will always stay on our mind while we forget about the other eight who are cooperative.Curious to see how this cases turns out, police are there to protect, serve, and solve cases. They are not there to be respected by the community they work in, that comes with time and also showing a mutual respect for the community they work in.In other words be courteous to the people who pay you or find another line of work.Ask the illegal immigrants about that one, when you stop calling the police they do get concerned, they don’t want to become obsolete. Finally, I read the unconscious victim is a reserve cop out of Idaho, I sure hope his blood test comes back negative for drugs and alcohol because if not I sure don’t want him on the road being a truck driver but also I sure wouldn’t want him answering any calls as a police officer knowing he might be high or drunk.If you can’t do the job right then get out, there are others that can, everybody is replaceable , the sooner you learn that truth the better off we will all be


    1. John,

      I agree with most of what you wrote. One of the things that you wrote was, “…The police are there to protect and serve, and solve cases…They are not there to be respected by the community.” I could agree with a couple of interpretations of this statement, that police don’t need to be respected, or police don’t have to be respected, or they don’t have to be liked, or they shouldn’t be surprised if they are not liked. You do know that many people do not like the police, do not respect the police, do not cooperate with the police, and actually interfere with the police, don’t you? This is why there are laws against interfering with a police officer, obstructing a police officer, and resisting arrest. Detective Payne made the decision to use the interfering with an investigation law to arrest nurse Wubbels. Detective Payne did not use excessive force. However, nurse Wubbels was just about guilty of resisting arrest.

      Much of what police officers do or have to do, people will not like. You are correct that Detective Payne appeared to be tired and frustrated in the video. Whether he was tired, frustrated, or exhausted, he went ahead and did his job, as he was instructed by his supervisor to arrest nurse Wubbels if she continued to refuse to take the blood draw.

      Your comment was welcome, because at least you understood that not only are blood draws required in accidents involving a fatality, but truck drivers are under additional requirements of the Department of Transportation to be tested for alcohol, drugs, and illegal drugs following an accident.


  3. You are completely wrong on the law. You completely ignore “when probable cause exists” that the person was impaired. When probably cause exists, the person is arrested – which is one of the criteria that would have received a blood draw.

    There is no probable cause at all to think that the truck driver was impaired.

    You my friend are a bootlicker with no concept or value of your constitutional rights.


  4. I side with you guys.
    The police are holy and blameless and should be allowed to do whatever they need to. No questions asked. That so called “nurse” should have been dispatched on the spot for interfering with Officer Payne’s investigation. Law enforcement needs to start putting down useless people on the spot whenever they encounter this kind of hatred for police just trying to do whatever they want. How dare she question him. The law is whatever a cop says it is. Learn that or get your skull cracked open.
    Have a good day.


    1. You are just being sarcastic right? All Payne needed to do was follow the policy that had been agreed upon by the hospital and his department previously. Go get the warrant then come back and get the blood. It was administration that refused the draw, not the nurse. She was just the messenger.
      The blood drawn previously would probably not work because proper legal chain of command wasn’t followed with the samples. Also, for alcohol testing, if alcohol is used to cleanse the arm before a draw it will cause a false positive, and if the top of the tube was removed (which is done during routine testing) the specimen would be no good.
      This patient is a burn victim. They probably didn’t want any more invasive procedures performed on him than necessary.
      Payne was completely wrong in his handling of the situation, also his supervisor.


      1. Why won’t any experienced emergency room nurse, or experienced emergency room doctor admit, that mandatory/involuntary blood draws have been performed for 50 years? I will answer my own question, apparently because nurses and doctors want to try the tactic, if we don’t acknowledge it, it doesn’t exist.

        Just for fun, I bet that you nurses and doctors would say that flees, ticks, and mosqitos can’t transmit hepatitis or HIV. No, no, no, a mosquito landing on a person with hepatitis or HIV and partially completing its blood draw, and then landing on a non-infected person within a minute or two, performing its flow-in/flow-out procedure with the blood it already has from the infected person, can in no way with this blood to blood contact, transmit the blood borne pathogens hepatitis or HIV. Just make sure not to re-use needles.


      2. “Also, for alcohol testing, if alcohol is used to cleanse the arm before a draw it will cause a false positive,”

        Um, no. You’re evidently unaware of the difference between isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol. A gas chromatograph will NOT confuse the two. ‘

        The rest of your post was equally uninformed.


      3. “All Payne needed to do was follow the policy that had been agreed upon by the hospital and his department previously.”

        Policy is not law. If you’d like to argue that the policy is a de facto contract, then you’re referring to Civil Law while the discussion is about Criminal Law, and NO ONE has the right to commit a crime because they THINK that a contract proviso has been violated. That’s why we have those judges and courts thingys.

        The nurse has no statutorily-grant authority to determine what is and what is not legal. She has no obligation to follow a police officer’s order to draw blood, but if she otherwise interfered with him, then she’s guilty of interference. She’s also arguably guilty of resisting arrest.

        If one of the blood samples that the hospital had previously drawn was on a table, and the officer took it, then would you like to believe that she has the right to grab it from him? Process = collect evidence > atty motions to toss the evidence > judge tosses it. Justice is served.


      4. Christopher,

        I am glad to see someone reasoning this out and thinking this out.

        I did not like reading the many, many comments that people wrote on the internet about the “highly educated, highly trained nurse….and the uneducated, unintelligent police officer”. I believe that the police detective acted like an adult, though an adult who had run out of patience. I believe that nurse Wubbel acted like a child, a defiant child, a child who doesn’t understand why she can’t have a pony, stomping, dragging her feet, and practically having to be carried out of the store and to the car.


  5. A policy was in place, that had previously been entered into agreement by hospital administration and local law entities. I can not believe, for a second, that attorneys had not had input into that policy. That takes the nurse and the officer out of the position of being legal experts.
    Yes, mandatory blood toxicology has been in place for a long time in cases where serious bodily injury or death occurred. The nurse was complying with her most proximate chain of command: The hospital administration. A more prudent officer would have gotten the warrant and returned in a couple of hours. A good toxicologist can extrapolate an estimated blood level of any intoxicant at the time of injury, providing they know the time of wreck and the time of collection.
    Yes, she was a screaming detainee, claiming pain. That is what most female detainees do. That does nothing to take away from the fact that the arrest did not have to occur. Further, if the arrest was really with merit, would the officers had released her some twenty minutes later? They let her go because they knew it was merit less and wouldn’t “stick”. It was CYA at that point.


    1. J. Agee,

      Your comment is fairly reasonable, logical, and level-headed. Can you see that the police detective was probably not intending to take nurse Wubbel to the police station to be processed in to jail? He did not advise her of her right to remain silent, anything that she says can be used against her in a court of law, she has the right to an attorney, etc. Nor did he pat her down to make sure that she had nothing on her person prior to placing her in the police car.


      1. Name With held,
        “Can you see that the police detective was probably not intending to take nurse Wubbel to the police station to be processed in to jail? He did not advise her of her right to remain silent, anything that she says can be used against her in a court of law, she has the right to an attorney, etc. Nor did he pat her down to make sure that she had nothing on her person prior to placing her in the police car.”
        First some definitions
        Battery The insolent and unwanted touching of another person
        Criminal Confinement Preventing the free and voluntary movement of a person
        Battery on a medical professional The insolent and unwanted touching of a duly licensed medical professional during the performance of their professional duties.

        Now let’s follow what you wrote and assume that is true (that the LEO was not intending on processing her). Payne indicated that he detained her for interfering with an investigation. So which was it: Arrest or not arrest? If an arrest, usually one is not given the Miranda Act for misdemeanors. Typically that is what interfering is charged as. People are typically Miranda qualified if there is an interrogation process. Most misdemeanors are very linear: Cop said you did it cop charged you and that is all there is to it. If he cuffed her for ANY reason and did not do at least a cursory pat down, that is very substandard detainment work. Further, Payne’s supervisor instructed the detective to arrest her for interfering if she did not cooperate. That is clear to me that there WAS an intent to charge.
        So if the LEO detained her while she was acting in her licensed capacity,without intent to charge, could this be battery on a medical professional? Here in Indiana, simple battery is a level 2 misdemeanor. If battery is on a medical professional, it is aggravated to a level 5 felony. If the Utah Statute I read is accurate, it is a Level 1 misdemeanor. If she was cuffed and stuffed, without intent to charge, could this be criminal confinement? I dare say yes to both levels of interpretation.
        Further, if the LEO intent was to never charge, what was the purpose of the cuff and stuff? It could be argued that there may have been intent to intimidate her into submission by activities protected by the collar of law. Again, an aggravating factor in any possible charges that Payne could face.
        I have less problem with Nurse Wubbels pre-incident behavior and more trouble with the social media excoriation that she initiated. Payne will never find a non-tainted jury in any criminal or civil litigation. She yells about fair and professional treatment, then turns the case into an unfair trial in the court of public opinion.
        Heretofore, police have always had the privilege and honor of juries believing them. Nurse Wubbells is feeding into the growing national belief that cop is guilty until proven innocent. Some day, that public sentiment will prevail and national safety and security will be the less for it.
        Any way this goes, two strong willed people butted heads and their lives will never be the same. Not for the better, may I add.


      2. J Agee,

        When I read the first part of your comment, I very nearly deleted it, something that I try to never do, because your comment was starting out with the definition of battery, as the insolent and unwanted touching of another person. I didn’t want to read anything more, this was so stupid. Is law enforcement guilty of battery every time they make an arrest, kidnapping when they transport someone to jail, speeding when they respond to a 911 call, possession of a concealed weapon for having a gun on their person when in their patrol car?

        By the way, in many states, such as North Dakota, assault is the physical contact with someone with the intention of inflicting harm. In many states, touching someone is not assault, or battery, especially if it is done by a police officer in making an arrest.

        You do make sense when you say that nurse Wubbel was within her rights and professional conduct when she disagreed with police Detective Jeff Payne prior to her arrest, but that it was less admirable for her to feed the public’s hatred of police officers afterwards. Everyone needs police officers from time to time, hit and run car accidents, robbery, burglary, assault. Very, very, very foolish to try to demoralize and diminish the police to the point that they will not respond in your community, and will no longer help people.


  6. payne was just another example of police abuse of power. go get the warrant and nothing would have happened simple as that. there was no urgency involved. just the ego of payne and the super. note the supers comment – you are standing in the way of my law. note it is not your law, it is the law of the state of utah and the constitution of the us. police believe they r the law. the reality is they r rep of the law in this country. laws r created by elected officials who represent the people who elected them to do so. in effect the people in this country r the true keepers of the law. police officers could really do themselves so much better if they understood this.


    1. Victor,

      About 20% of the people who write comments regarding the arrest of nurse Wubbel for refusing to collect a blood sample write, “Why didn’t the police detective just go get a warrant?” My understanding of this process would be, either to call ahead to a courthouse or not call ahead, drive to the courthouse, find an available judge, explain the details in this case, wait for them to print out and sign a warrant, and then drive back to the hospital.

      If you have ever lived some place like Salt Lake City or Phoenix, they build out, not up. It can take one hour to drive across town, one way. I have been in that situation in Tampa, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix. One hour drive to the courthouse, one hour to find a judge, explain, print out, and sign, and the then one hour to drive back. That is 3 hours.

      How would you like it if you had risen to a fairly high level in a job during the course of 20 to 30 years of work in your field, whether you were an electrician, engineer, pharmacist, or police detective, and some woman is trying to be difficult and trying to cause you to drive for three hours when you shouldn’t have to. Hospitals used to cooperate with law enforcement in providing blood samples when requested during investigations into vehicle accidents involving a fatality, this used to be standard procedure.

      When it is desirable or convenient for the hospital, they don’t have any hesitation to delay the police detective for several hours to go obtain a warrant. If the hospital should have an emergency situation, or if any of us should have an emergency situation, we want the police to be there in 5 minutes or less. So on the one hand, we want to make them waste 3 hours on an errand when we feel like it, but by God the police better get here in 5 minutes when we need them.


  7. If the cops were innocent then they would have nothing to worry about this video being released and they also wouldn’t be on admin leave. If the officers were innocent then I’d think the DA wouldn’t hint that a criminal investigation is needed into the officers conduct. If the cops were innocent then why is Rigby PD(the agency the unconscious driver was a officer for) releasing a statement applauding the nurses actions and condemning SLCPD for arresting her. Oh that’s right because SLCPD was in the wrong…

    On top of that– what law in the state of Utah/United States requires nurses to hand over blood samples from unconscious patients per the request of the police or face arrest… Oh wait that’s right because such a law *does not exist*. If they wanna put cuffs on her for obstruction than fine she can win that one later in court(which again proves these officers suck at their job), but she was 100% in the right for denying what is not lawfully his.

    Fire the officers involved and be done with this. It’s called not being good at your job.

    I’m all for a level headed reasonable discussion on here, but this is pretty cut and dry. Anyone who thinks those officers weren’t in the wrong is looking at it through cops goggles.


    1. Ted Jones,

      I am disappointed in the Rigby, Idaho Police Department for releasing a statement congratulating the nurse on sticking up for the patient, who was both a truck driver and a Rigby police officer. Rigby, Idaho has a population of approximately 5,000 people, and as soon as I saw the statement that was issued, I believed that that statement may not have been authorized and vetted by the appropriate person, because Rigby, Idaho is not usually involved in controversy and media attention.

      It is now being acknowledged in writing, and documented, by both the hospital and the Salt Lake City Police Department, that police Detective Jeff Payne was trying to obtain a blood sample from the injured truck driver, in order to prove his innocence, to exonerate him completely. Had the appropriate person at the Rigby, Idaho Police Department proof-read and reviewed the press release, the press release would have had more support for police Detective Jeff Payne, who went to great lengths to try to get the blood sample taken.

      Currently right in the middle of the comments posted about this blog post, a reader has posted a link to a newspaper article that describes the legality of what the Salt Lake City Police Department was trying to do. Once people have now begun to look into the law, which they previously did not know, they are discovering that there are several different reasons why police can obtain a blood sample without a warrant.

      The more that people learn about the long history of hospitals and police obtaining blood samples without a warrant or consent, that has been permitted for various legal reasons and court decisions, the more that people are backing off condemning police Detective Jeff Payne.


  8. You’re deliberately ignoring the fact that the nurse was bound not only by a policy the police department had agreed to but also by patient privacy laws. None of the stat laws you quoted are Utah’s. Under FMCSR thee patient would have to consent to a urine or blood sample or lose his CDL. But that wasn’t the detective call to make. Plus the police department which had requested the sample withdrew the request before the arrest was made and both Payne and Tracy knew that. So we have a cop with a history of sexual harassment arresting a nurse for refusing to give him a sample the investigating department didn’t want. Which he had no legal authority to take. Procedures like the one the hospital and the department had previously agreed upon are put into place to ensure the law is being closely followed. And the nurse waited more than a month to release the footage. She tried to work with department but they left him on duty right up until the video went up on the internet.


    1. Daniel,

      I will argue some of your other points later, but for now, I don’t know why you wrote, “And the nurse waited more than a month to release the footage.” You do know, that the video that was taken, was from a Utah Police Officer’s body camera, don’t you? This was a police video that was released.


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