According to a report in the Gettysburg Times on November 11, WellSpan affiliated hospitals in Adams and York Counties in Pennsylvania have either discontinued conducting blood alcohol content (BAC) tests for police, or will be discontinuing them, meaning that police will have to seek testing elsewhere.
One department, the Carroll Valley Borough Police Department, sought the services of a laboratory in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, which is over 113 miles away, to conduct BAC testing for the township police.
According to police, Gettysburg Hospital will continue drawing blood samples, but will not test them. The blood would be placed in test kits to enable police to send the samples to another laboratory, probably through Fed-Ex.
On November 11, WellSpan Office of Health Public Relations & Communication at Gettysburg Hospital Manager William Lavery confirmed that the hospital was discontinuing the service, but that the hospital would continue drawing the blood.
According to Lavery, there were two fundamental reasons for the decision. The first reason concerns accreditation of the hospital’s lab and the second relates to increasing demands on the lab.
Lavery said that, regarding accreditation, the lab isn’t able to meet a new testing regulation the College of American Pathologists, which is their primary accreditation agency, introduced.
Lavery also said the legal system, DUI defense attorneys in particular, are demanding more and more from labs conduction BAC testing, which is increasingly draining their resources.
Lavery said that DUI defense attorneys have subjected the hospital’s lab to more and more strenuous expectations, including responding to subpoenas the hospital is unable to respond to.
Lavery said the transition away from local law enforcement using hospital testing services has been considered for the past couple of years and that the majority of area hospitals in south central Pennsylvania have already stopped DUI testing.