Deputy Devost Selected to Participate in Pilot Program for Missouri Law Enforcement
Deputy Ryan Devost has been selected to participate in a pilot program for Missouri Law Enforcement. Deputy Devost is one (1) of only eleven law enforcement officers in the state of Missouri selected to participate in this new program.
This program will enhance DUI/DWI enforcement operations that will help law enforcement officers in the state of Missouri remove impaired driver's from Missouri roadways.
This is a brand new program introduced into the state of Missouri that we hope will expand to other agencies in the near future.
Congratulations Deputy Devost for your selection!
For more information on the Missouri Law Enforcement Phlebotomy Program, please see the below information.
The primary source of funding for the Missouri Law Enforcement Phlebotomy Program (LEPP) Pilot is from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Highway Safety and Traffic Division through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) Section 405d program areas. The pilot training program funds phlebotomy courses, textbooks and instructors. Additional funding through NHTSA assisted in the development of the LEEP Task Force in 2021 and supplies for the initial start-up program.
Law enforcement phlebotomists are law enforcement personnel with specialized training to draw blood for investigative purposes, including DUI/DWI investigations, DNA testing, communicable disease testing and other reasons. The first program in the country was established as the Arizona Officer Phlebotomy Program in 1995 in an effort to streamline the search warrant program. In 2000, Cathee Tankersley, the Phoenix College Phlebotomy Director, developed a new course specifically designed for law enforcement.
Arizona statutes allow for breath, blood or urine a the choice of the officer. Agencies moved from breath to blood as a result of litigation, such as ADAMS/COBRA and source code, a perception of fewer legal challenges, judge/jury perception of reliability and other officer phlebotomy programs.
Missouri statute allows for "a licensed physician, registered nurse, phlebotomist or trained medical technician" to withdraw blood (RSMo Section 577.029) and provides the phlebotomist shall not be "civilly liable in damages to the person tested unless gross negligence, willful or wanton act, or omission" (RSMo Section 577.031)
When the Officer Phlebotomy Program was started in 1995, Arizona had a 20% refusal rate. By 2007, this rate had dropped to 8.56% statewide (with 5.89% at DPS and 4.07 at Phoenix PD). In 2008, DPS' refusal rate was 6.3% and Phoenix PD's 3.81%.
According to Missouri Department of Revenue, in 2019 there were a total of 18,671 administrative with BAC and refusals submitted with a 33.5% refusal rate. It is anticipated that the refusal rate in Missouri will be impacted in a similar manner. Even when suspects refuse to have their blood drawn, the evidence will be obtained through a search warrant.
Refusal rates in Arizona and other states have dropped in large part due to increased public awareness. As we advance the project, we hope to ensure the public is aware that if a suspect refuses to have their blood draw when under arrest for DUI they will lose their driver's license for a period of one year.
Law enforcement officers selected for the Pilot Program in Missouri will participate in the phlebotomy training course in Arizona, the pioneer state for Law Enforcement Phlebotomy. Arizona has developed a concentrated one-week course to train law enforcement officers in phlebotomy. Participants in the class mist complete pre-class homework online. Courses are modified to instruct officers on only those procedure germane to law enforcement procedures. Course are taught in 8-hour days and are OHSA guideline consistent.
Students spend 20-30 hours in clinical setting where they complete a required number of successful venipunctures. Students are given a practical and written final examination where they must meet all competencies prescribed. Officers who successfully complete an pass this course are required to complete refresher training course every two years that will be held in Missouri.