AL Gov. orders investigation after DNA, blood samples collected - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

AL Gov. orders investigation after DNA, blood samples collected at roadblocks

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PELL CITY, AL (AP) -

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's office reacted Tuesday to news that roadblocks were setup in two counties at which point commuters were offered compensation for saliva and blood samples.

Drivers in St. Clair and Bibb counties were stopped at roadblocks in the area and were asked to give DNA and blood samples as part of a study. Officials say giving samples was voluntary and participants were paid $10 for mouth swabs and $50 for blood samples.     

Governor Robert Bentley is ordering an investigation in to the roadblocks.

"I am instructing my Secretary of Law Enforcement, Spencer Collier, to investigate this issue. Like many people, I have questions about how and why these surveys were carried out along Alabama's roads," the governor said.

St. Clair County Sheriff's Lt. Freddie Turrentine tells The Birmingham News (http://bit.ly/14PWVBN) authorities were helping with a study by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in partnership with the National Highway Safety Administration.

Gov. Bentley said he wanted to know from the federal government, "exactly what is being done with the information that was collected."

Authorities say off-duty deputies and fire officials stopped cars in Pell City and throughout Bibb County Friday and Saturday.     

Turrentine says the samples were anonymous, and the study was aimed at finding out how many people were driving with alcohol or prescription drugs in their systems.  

"We'll do everything we can to get to the bottom of the issue and make sure that the rights of our citizens are protected, " Gov. Bentley said.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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