How far should police be allowed to go to get your DNA?

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- A United States Supreme Court decision last summer cleared the way for making the collection of DNA samples upon arrest as common as taking fingerprints.

For many Idaho lawmakers, that's going way too far, given the amount of information a DNA sample can potentially give the government.

"We want to protect people's privacy and not allow for collection upon arrest," said Sen. Elliot Werk, (D) Boise, a sponsor of SB 1240a, which would make it clear DNA cannot be taken just upon arrest in Idaho.

Idaho law now permits taking of DNA samples upon conviction of a felony or with probable cause.

"But our code is silent as to whether or not law enforcement can collect DNA upon arrest," said Werk.

"What this is saying is we really believe that the right of the person to be free from unreasonable search and seizures includes DNA," said Sen. Jim Rice, (R) Caldwell.

The bill unanimously passed the Senate and is expected to go to a House committee this week.

Supporters of the bill worry the taking of DNA samples could become so widespread, your DNA could be taken if you're arrested for something as simple as jaywalking.

But many investigators and victims rights groups advocate for broader DNA testing, saying it's the most effective way to catch serial rapists, killers and other violent criminals.

And indeed, last year Idaho expanded its DNA testing protocol to include those convicted of any felony.

But the sponsors of Senate Bill 1240a say DNA testing upon arrest crosses the genetic and constitutional line.