Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

5-8-2024 9:00 AM

End Date

5-8-2024 11:00 AM

Subjects

Law enforcement agencies, Phlebotomy

Advisor

Dr. Emily Shafer

Student Level

Doctoral

Abstract

In at least 17 states in the United States, police are drawing blood from drivers they suspect of impairment. Despite concerns about civil rights, ethics of consent in custody, and use of force, law enforcement phlebotomy (LEP) remains critically understudied. Through 27 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with police phlebotomists and LEP program officials from 10 states, this study begins to fill that gap, asking: What are the logics of law enforcement phlebotomy? Constituting these logics–as articulated by police–are beliefs about both policing and phlebotomy, and officers’ motivations in the fight against impaired driving. This article assesses how the logics of law enforcement phlebotomy are under fraught development. Institutional logics, far from being settled, are often in tension (Chiarello & Morrill 2020; Thornton et al. 2012). In the nascent subfield of police phlebotomy, the law enforcement officers interviewed in this study clearly demonstrated this contentious process of determining logics: collectively and individually, officers are working to justify, defend, and question law enforcement phlebotomy as the answer to the problem of impaired driving. My findings reflect the pitched struggle to define the logics of law enforcement phlebotomy, with many officers speaking as staunch champions of police blood draws, and other officers sharing serious concerns about the practice. This interview study provides a foundational look into the police perspective of law enforcement phlebotomy as this policing tool continues to spread across the country.

Creative Commons License or Rights Statement

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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May 8th, 9:00 AM May 8th, 11:00 AM

“Fruit From a Poisonous Tree”? Constituting Logics of Law Enforcement Phlebotomy

In at least 17 states in the United States, police are drawing blood from drivers they suspect of impairment. Despite concerns about civil rights, ethics of consent in custody, and use of force, law enforcement phlebotomy (LEP) remains critically understudied. Through 27 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with police phlebotomists and LEP program officials from 10 states, this study begins to fill that gap, asking: What are the logics of law enforcement phlebotomy? Constituting these logics–as articulated by police–are beliefs about both policing and phlebotomy, and officers’ motivations in the fight against impaired driving. This article assesses how the logics of law enforcement phlebotomy are under fraught development. Institutional logics, far from being settled, are often in tension (Chiarello & Morrill 2020; Thornton et al. 2012). In the nascent subfield of police phlebotomy, the law enforcement officers interviewed in this study clearly demonstrated this contentious process of determining logics: collectively and individually, officers are working to justify, defend, and question law enforcement phlebotomy as the answer to the problem of impaired driving. My findings reflect the pitched struggle to define the logics of law enforcement phlebotomy, with many officers speaking as staunch champions of police blood draws, and other officers sharing serious concerns about the practice. This interview study provides a foundational look into the police perspective of law enforcement phlebotomy as this policing tool continues to spread across the country.