Maybe. Section 316.1933, Florida Statutes, requires a person to submit to the administration of a blood test where an officer has probable cause (enough evidence to make a reasonable person believe a crime has been committed) to believe that a motor vehicle driven by someone who is under the influence of alcohol or certain controlled substances has caused the death or “serious bodily injury” of a human being. The term “serious bodily injury” means an injury to any person, including the driver, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. This law specifically allows law enforcement to use reasonable force, if necessary, to require such person to submit to the administration of the blood test. This law does not require the alleged victim to submit to the blood sample testing.
Under this law, officers are not allowed to personally draw blood; only qualified hospital staff can do this. Furthermore, even if an officer does not request a blood draw, hospital staff are allowed to notify law enforcement if a blood test taken for another reason related to a car accident injury reveals the presence of an illegal amount of alcohol or certain chemical substances in the person’s system, regardless of other privacy rights a patient may have in his/her own records.
In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police need to obtain a search warrant to obtain a blood draw for D.U.I. arrests unless there is a justified emergency. It is unclear how this decision will affect the requirements set forth in section 316.1933, which does not require a warrant, only an accident resulting in “serious bodily injury” for a blood draw.
The law regarding blood draws applies to traditional alcohol-impaired driving, in addition to being under the influence of any other controlled substances. Therefore, it is possible to be convicted of a D.U.I. if your blood alcohol level is .00, if you were under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, Xanax, or any other substance regulated by Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes.
In 2017, a nurse in Utah was forcibly detained by a police officer after refusing to take the blood of an unconscious patient whose vehicle had been hit by a driver who was fleeing the police. The body camera footage of the arrest made national news. The woman was ultimately released at the scene and settled with the police instead of filing a lawsuit, but the incident has sparked national debate regarding this issue.