State v. Hodson

In State v. Hodson, 907 P.2d 1155, 1158 (Utah 1995), the Court recognized that plastic-wrapped heroin chips would have followed one of two paths absorption into the bloodstream or intact passage because of their packaging. There, the Court held that the officer's extreme use of force was not justified by the exigency presented. Id. at 1159. In Hodson, the police officers put a gun to the suspect's head, dragged him to the ground, put an arm around his neck, and then inserted their fingers into his mouth to retrieve chips of heroin. 907 P.2d at 1156. In addressing the officers' actions, the Court stated: "No emergency or exigency justifies the use of force at this level to preserve evidence which would be readily (if inconveniently) accessible through nonviolent means. In the absence of an urgent need to preserve evidence, there cannot be a justification for the significant risks to health and safety posed by using the kind of force in this case to get a suspect to spit out what is believed to be a mouthful of drugs." (Id. at 1158.)