Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office Initiates DUI Blood Draw Program
The Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office has become the lead law enforcement agency in the Commonwealth of Virginia to conduct in-house blood draws on DUI arrestees. The Westmoreland Commonwealth’s Attorney assisted in obtaining a court order allowing one of our sworn deputies to conduct the procedure. Deputy Darrel Johnson is an EMT-Intermediate who volunteers for the Montross Volunteer Resque Squad. The licensed physician that serves as their Operational Medical Director (OMD) supported Deputy Johnson in obtaining a court order to draw blood. The Circuit Court Judge of Westmoreland County has designated Deputy Johnson as a technician qualified to draw blood pursuant to Virginia Code 18.2-268.5. Since inception, Deputy Johnson has drawn blood and has successfully prosecuted these cases.
This additional and innovative measure allows for our Sheriff’s Office to remove intoxicated drivers from our roadways according to Westmoreland Sheriff C.O. Balderson. Like all law enforcement agencies across the State, we have had to take our arrestees to the hospital and wait until their personnel is available to draw blood. The man hours lost transporting to hospitals and awaiting the blood draw is now able to be spent back on the road. Our Sheriffs Office is very aggressive in eliminating drunk driving in our county and having a deputy that can now draw blood saves us valuable time in processing these cases. Any Agency interested in starting such a program, please contact the Sheriff’s Office and we will be more than willing to provide documentation on how we started this program.