A bill that requires law enforcement officers to present a warrant before requesting blood testing was approved by a legislative committee Wednesday.
The bill was prompted by the incident involving Alex Wubbels, a nurse at the University of Utah hospital, back in July. A video recorded that day showed police detective Jeff Payne arresting Wubbels when she refused to draw blood from a patient.
The uproar that followed the video led to Payne losing his job, a $500,000 settlement with Wubbels and now a potential law that more clearly requires officers to show a warrant.
"That way we avoid hopefully what we watched on tape at the University of Utah," says Rep. Lowry Snow (R-St. George).
Snow supports the bill but expressed some concern that there still isn’t enough protection for medical providers, whose primary job is to care for patients, and don’t have training to tell whether a warrant is valid or not.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep Craig Hall (R-West Valley), says future legislation will have to tackle details like that, but for now requiring a warrant is the right first step.