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The Champion

August 2007 , Page 46 

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By Steven House

Read more DWI columns.

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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