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By Steven House
Evaluating the Applicability of HIPAA in a DUI Case
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
(“HIPAA”)1 is the primary federal law providing privacy protection for
an individual’s medical information. While there are few cases
addressing the application of HIPAA regulations to issues arising in
criminal cases, interest has been growing since the regulatory
compliance date of April 14, 2003.2 The goal of this article
is to aid in evaluating whether a DUI case contains HIPAA issues and
address the difficulties of utilizing a HIPAA violation.
Hypothetical Case Scenario
Your new client, Mr. Bukowski, has been charged with DUI with injury
after causing a head on collision that resulted in injuries to the
drivers of both vehicles. Medical evaluation and treatment were provided
by both EMS personnel in the ambulance en route to the hospital and
emergency room staff at the hospital. Additionally, hospital staff took a
blood sample in order to tes
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