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Showing posts from June, 2013

United States Supreme Court Rules on Warrantless DUI Blood Draws

The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that the natural dissipation of alcohol in blood alone does not constitute exigent circumstances per se to justify a warrantless blood draw in DUI cases where the suspect does not consent. Without a warrant or consent from the suspected drunk driver, a blood draw is a violation of the driver’s Fourth Amendment right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures. Prior to this decision, Missouri v. McNeely, police officers in California were generally not required to obtain a warrant in order to draw blood for measuring blood-alcohol content in drunk-driving cases.
In this landmark case, Missouri v. McNeely, Tyler McNeely was pulled over on the grounds of suspicion of driving under the influence. After refusing twice to take a breathalyzer, he was taken to a hospital where the police ordered his blood drawn without his consent or a warrant. The officer had not made an attempt to obtain a warrant because he thought that Missouri law …