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Dodd v. Jones, No. 09-2016

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By FindLaw Staff on October 18, 2010 4:57 PM

In Dodd v. Jones, No. 09-2016, an action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against Missouri police officers, alleging that they failed to protect plaintiff from an intoxicated driver in responding to his accident, the court affirmed summary judgment for defendants where 1) the evidence did not support a finding that defendants took plaintiff into custody and held him against his will so as to trigger the corresponding duty described in DeShaney; and 2) because the percentage of alcohol in the blood diminishes with time, an effort to secure evidence of blood-alcohol content by drawing blood from a suspect after his arrest was a reasonable search incident to arrest.

As the court wrote:  "An intoxicated driver struck Michael Dodd, who had been lying injured on Route M in Lawrence County, Missouri, after his own apparent alcohol-related accident. Dodd brought an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Missouri State Highway Patrolman Steven Jones and Lawrence County Deputy Sheriff Mike Thorn in their individual and official capacities. He alleged that Jones and Thorn, both of whom responded to his accident, failed to protect him from the intoxicated driver, and that Jones conducted an unlawful search of his blood. The district court granted summary judgment for Jones and Thorn, and dismissed the claim against Jones in his official capacity. We affirm."

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