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Police now administer Narcan in some drunk driving stops

Narcan is the brand name for Naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist that is used widely today to head off the effects of an opioid overdose. Police in New Hampshire and other states are using Narcan to revive persons suspected of having overdosed on narcotics. The authorities are now carrying Narcan on the road and using it to revive to unresponsive persons who are suspected of drunk driving, specifically driving under the influence of drugs.

The police in Raymond reported reviving a man recently with Narcan at the scene of an accident. Police received a call about a car being off the road after an apparent crash on Chester Road. When they arrived, they found an individual allegedly unresponsive and slouched in the driver's seat. The officers allegedly broke into the locked car, retrieved the man and began administering revival treatments, including chest compressions.

The Raymond police claim that after administering the Narcan, the man was resuscitated and conscious. He was taken to Exeter Hospital for treatment. The Raymond police apparently have received the necessary training and certification to use Narcan on the road in emergency situations.

The constitutional dimensions of involuntarily administering a drug to a drunk driving suspect has not generally been litigated in New Hampshire or other courts. Narcan reportedly has little effect if the individual does not have opioids in his system, which makes the drug safe to administer, but it is no less an intrusion into the person's personal bodily integrity. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that taking blood samples from unconscious DUI suspects requires a search warrant. It follows that the defendant's arrest in this case may also be unconstitutional, and it is at least a valid question whether the courts would view this apparently non-invasive protocol with the same eyes as blood tests.  

Source: unionleader.com, "Raymond police revive driver with Narcan, charge him with DUI", Dec. 17, 2016

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