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NH House Bill to Require Warrant to Obtain Blood Results from Dui Suspect

New Hampshire House Bill HB 1752-FN would require local law enforcement to obtain a warrant before having access to blood taken from a person being investigated for a DUI offense. House Speaker Gene Chandler, R-Bartlett, said he and several colleagues are opposed to how the bill is written.  “There might be some way to make it more palatable,” said Chandler. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee are scheduled to discuss the bill in a public hearing.

A copy of the Bill is reproduced below.

https://legiscan.com/NH/text/HB1752/id/1657953

HB 1752-FN – AS INTRODUCED

2018 SESSION

18-2669

01/04

HOUSE BILL 1752-FN

AN ACT requiring a search warrant to obtain blood samples.

SPONSORS: Rep. Hynes, Hills. 21; Rep. Zaricki, Hills. 6; Rep. Ferreira, Hills. 28

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

—————————————————————–

ANALYSIS

This bill requires a search warrant to obtain certain blood samples.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

18-2669

01/04

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen

AN ACT requiring a search warrant to obtain blood samples.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1  Physicians and Surgeons; Confidential Communications.  Amend RSA 329:26 to read as follows:

329:26  Confidential Communications.  The confidential relations and communications between a physician or surgeon licensed under provisions of this chapter and the patient of such physician or surgeon are placed on the same basis as those provided by law between attorney and client, and, except as otherwise provided by law, no such physician or surgeon shall be required to disclose such privileged communications.  Confidential relations and communications between a patient and any person working under the supervision of a physician or surgeon that are customary and necessary for diagnosis and treatment are privileged to the same extent as though those relations or communications were with such supervising physician or surgeon.  This section shall not apply to investigations and hearings conducted by the board of medicine under RSA 329, any other statutorily created health occupational licensing or certifying board conducting licensing, certifying, or disciplinary proceedings or hearings conducted pursuant to RSA 135-C:27-54 or RSA 464-A.  This section shall also not apply to the release of blood or urine samples and the results of laboratory tests for drugs or blood alcohol content taken from a person for purposes of diagnosis and treatment in connection with the incident giving rise to the investigation for driving a motor vehicle while such person was under the influence of intoxicating liquors or controlled drugs unless compelled to disclose through a search warrant.  The use and disclosure of such information shall be limited to the official criminal proceedings.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2019.

LBAO

18-2669

11/17/17

HB 1752-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

AN ACT requiring a search warrant to obtain blood samples.

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [ X ] Highway           [ X ] Other – Turnpike Fund

METHODOLOGY:

Based on the title and analysis of the bill, it appears the intent is to require a search warrant for the release of blood or urine samples and the results of laboratory tests for drugs or blood alcohol content taken from a person for purposes of diagnosis and treatment in connection with the incident giving rise to the investigation for driving a motor vehicle while such person was under the influence of intoxicating liquors or controlled drugs.  However, as drafted, the bill is unclear.

Assuming the bill would require a search warrant to obtain blood samples, the Judicial Branch provided the following fiscal information.  The Branch has no information on which to estimate how many warrants would be sought in the circuit and superior courts.  The cost of an average warrant request in the circuit court will be $72 in FY 2019 and $73 in FY 2020.  In the superior court the cost will be $279 in FY 2019 and $284 in FY 2020.  It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2019 and FY 2020 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.

The Department of Safety, assuming the bill requires a warrant to obtain blood samples, indicates the number of crashes a year where operators would be under investigation for operating under the influence is unknown therefore the potential increase in expenditures cannot be determined.  The Department assumes there would be no impact on state revenues.

The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill would not impact municipal revenues or expenditures.

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Department of Safety, and New Hampshire Municipal Association

Categories: 
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