2004 Florida Statutes
Blood test for impairment or intoxication in cases of death or serious bodily injury; right to use reasonable force.
(1)(a) If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle driven by or in the actual physical control of a person under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substances, or any controlled substances has caused the death or serious bodily injury of a human being, a law enforcement officer shall require the person driving or in actual physical control of the motor vehicle to submit to a test of the person's blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content thereof or the presence of chemical substances as set forth in s. 877.111 or any substance controlled under chapter 893. The law enforcement officer may use reasonable force if necessary to require such person to submit to the administration of the blood test. The blood test shall be performed in a reasonable manner. Notwithstanding s. 316.1932, the testing required by this paragraph need not be incidental to a lawful arrest of the person.
(b) 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.
(2)(a) Only a physician, certified paramedic, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, other personnel authorized by a hospital to draw blood, or duly licensed clinical laboratory director, supervisor, technologist, or technician, acting at the request of a law enforcement officer, may withdraw blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content thereof or the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances therein. However, the failure of a law enforcement officer to request the withdrawal of blood shall not affect the admissibility of a test of blood withdrawn for medical purposes.
1. Notwithstanding any provision of law pertaining to the confidentiality of hospital records or other medical records, if a health care provider, who is providing medical care in a health care facility to a person injured in a motor vehicle crash, becomes aware, as a result of any blood test performed in the course of that medical treatment, that the person's blood-alcohol level meets or exceeds the blood-alcohol level specified in s. 316.193(1)(b), the health care provider may notify any law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency. Any such notice must be given within a reasonable time after the health care provider receives the test result. Any such notice shall be used only for the purpose of providing the law enforcement officer with reasonable cause to request the withdrawal of a blood sample pursuant to this section.
2. The notice shall consist only of the name of the person being treated, the name of the person who drew the blood, the blood-alcohol level indicated by the test, and the date and time of the administration of the test.
3. Nothing contained in s. 395.3025(4), s. 456.057, or any applicable practice act affects the authority to provide notice under this section, and the health care provider is not considered to have breached any duty owed to the person under s. 395.3025(4), s. 456.057, or any applicable practice act by providing notice or failing to provide notice. It shall not be a breach of any ethical, moral, or legal duty for a health care provider to provide notice or fail to provide notice.
4. A civil, criminal, or administrative action may not be brought against any person or health care provider participating in good faith in the provision of notice or failure to provide notice as provided in this section. Any person or health care provider participating in the provision of notice or failure to provide notice as provided in this section shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability and from any professional disciplinary action with respect to the provision of notice or failure to provide notice under this section. Any such participant has the same immunity with respect to participating in any judicial proceedings resulting from the notice or failure to provide notice.
(b) A chemical analysis of the person's blood to determine the alcoholic content thereof must have been performed substantially in accordance with methods approved by the Department of Law Enforcement and by an individual possessing a valid permit issued by the department for this purpose. The Department of Law Enforcement may approve satisfactory techniques or methods, ascertain the qualifications and competence of individuals to conduct such analyses, and issue permits that are subject to termination or revocation at the discretion of the department. Any insubstantial differences between approved methods or techniques and actual testing procedures, or any insubstantial defects concerning the permit issued by the department, in any individual case, shall not render the test or test results invalid.
(c) No hospital, clinical laboratory, medical clinic, or similar medical institution or physician, certified paramedic, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, other personnel authorized by a hospital to draw blood, or duly licensed clinical laboratory director, supervisor, technologist, or technician, or other person assisting a law enforcement officer shall incur any civil or criminal liability as a result of the withdrawal or analysis of a blood specimen pursuant to accepted medical standards when requested by a law enforcement officer, regardless of whether or not the subject resisted administration of the test.
(3)(a) Any criminal charge resulting from the incident giving rise to the officer's demand for testing shall be tried concurrently with a charge of any violation arising out of the same incident, unless, in the discretion of the court, such charges should be tried separately. If such charges are tried separately, the fact that such person refused, resisted, obstructed, or opposed testing shall be admissible at the trial of the criminal offense which gave rise to the demand for testing.
(b) The results of any test administered pursuant to this section for the purpose of detecting the presence of any controlled substance shall not be admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution for the possession of a controlled substance.
(4) Notwithstanding any provision of law pertaining to the confidentiality of hospital records or other medical records, information relating to the alcoholic content of the blood or the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances in the blood obtained pursuant to this section shall be released to a court, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, or law enforcement officer in connection with an alleged violation of s. 316.193 upon request for such information.
History.--s. 4, ch. 82-155; s. 19, ch. 83-215; s. 4, ch. 84-359; s. 16, ch. 86-296; s. 4, ch. 88-5; s. 3, ch. 91-255; s. 21, ch. 92-58; s. 3, ch. 93-124; s. 315, ch. 95-148; s. 2, ch. 98-27; s. 7, ch. 2000-160; s. 3, ch. 2002-263.