MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Latest on Vermont Legislature (all times local):
The Vermont House has approved legislation that expands the state DNA database by adding to the crimes that prompt collection of DNA samples from people convicted of crimes.
It’s a win for law enforcement in a yearslong tug of war with civil libertarians who have tried to limit the types of crimes that trigger the taking and recording of a DNA samples.
The House action is expected to clear the way for the bill to be sent to Gov. Peter Shumlin for his signature.
The bill calls for those required to give a DNA sample to include anyone convicted of a misdemeanor carrying a sentence of 30 days or more.
It also includes defendant who have pleaded their cases down from a charge that brings a DNA test to a lesser charge that normally does not.
Vermont lawmakers say a proposal to use a saliva test to check for drugged driving is dead for this year.
The House had approved allowing police to use a saliva test as a preliminary indicator of intoxication at the time a driver is stopped. Then police could use another saliva test back at the station as evidence in court. It a driver did not consent, police could get a blood test to check for drugs, including alcohol.
The House action followed a report from a state-commissioned lab that warned that levels of drugs in a person’s system could not be used as an indication a driver was impaired.
The Senate had resisted, with two key committee chairmen saying there wasn’t enough time to consider the measure.