Drunk Driver Sues Police Over Forced Blood Draw

By Paul Gaita 03/13/15

Aaron Mosley was strapped to a chair while a nurse drew his blood.

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Convicted drunk driver Aaron Mosley filed a lawsuit against police officers in Dallas, Texas this week for violating his civil rights by forcing him to give a blood sample.

Mosley was arrested in 2013 for fleeing the scene after hitting a neighbor’s car with his vehicle. His refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test prompted the arresting officers to obtain a warrant to forcibly draw a blood sample.

A police video shows Mosley being strapped into a restraint chair that bound his ankles, wrists, and shoulder before a nurse asks him to cooperate with her attempt to draw a blood sample. Mosley is heard to say, “She will break that needle in my arm because I am not going there,” before the nurse successfully obtains the blood.

Forcible blood draws have been acceptable police procedure since 2005, when Police Chief Bill Waybourne of the Dalworthington Gardens Department of Public Safety suggested that search warrants for blood could be obtained in the same manner as warrants to search property or possessions.

“I remember bringing that up in a staff meeting and everyone probably thought I was nuts,” said Waybourne. Forced blood draws have since become law in 15 other states, despite repeated court challenges, but Mosley’s lawyer, David Bower, believes the policy oversteps basic civil rights.

“There needs to be strict policies and strict training on how to do this, and I think what we hope to reveal in this case is the lack thereof,” he said. The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County District Court, names both the city of Dallas and Parkland Health & Hospital System, which employed the nurse seen in the video, as defendants.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.