Supreme Court Update on Blood Draw for DUI Cases….

Recently the US Supreme Court was contemplating whether DUI cases and the dissipation of alcohol in the blood constitute exigent circumstances enough to allow law enforcement to perform a warrantless blood draw (see our previous blog). In short, the Supreme Court ruled that D.U.I.’s do not justify warrantless blood draw!

McNeeley v. Missouri: McNeely was stopped for speeding and crossing the centerline. After declining to take a breath test to measure his blood alcohol concentration (BAC)/ The officer never attempted to secure a search warrant. McNeely refused to consent to the blood test, but the officer directed a lab technician to take a sample. McNeely’s BAC tested well above the legal limit, and he was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). He moved to suppress the blood test result, arguing that taking his blood without a warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The exigency exception to the warrant requirement does not apply because, apart from the fact that McNeely’s blood alcohol was dissipating, no circumstances suggested that the officer faced an emergency. In drunk-driving investigations, the natural dissipation of the alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to conduct a blood test without a warrant.

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