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Arizona high court sets standard for on use of blood samples in DUI cases

PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court said police can’t use a DUI suspect’s blood sample taken for medical reasons unless they have a warrant or the suspect either consented to treatment or was incapable of providing consent.

The court set that standard Wednesday while ruling on an appeal involving a man who thrashed and yelled at paramedics after being injured in a 2010 Scottsdale accident in which one person was killed and four others injured.

A blood sample showed that Patrick McLeod Nissley had methamphetamine and heroin in his system, and he was convicted of reckless manslaughter and other crimes.

The Supreme Court ordered a trial judge to hold a hearing on whether Nissley was able to competently direct his own medical treatment and whether police lawfully obtained the blood sample.

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