March 23, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- US Supreme Court to decide if warrantless blood draws OK in DWI cases
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving the right of those suspected of driving while under the influence to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The case before the Supreme Court stemmed from an incident in which a driver was pulled over by a police officer for speeding. The law enforcement official believed the driver was under the influence of alcohol and performed field sobriety tests
The motorist refused a request to take a breathalyzer, which led the police officer to take him to a local hospital. At the hospital, the driver refused to allow a blood test to determine his blood alcohol content. Nevertheless, the police officer ordered a medical professional to perform the blood draw. The test revealed that the driver's blood alcohol content was nearly two times the legal limit -- 0.15.
At no point during the process did the police officer make any efforts to obtain a warrant for the blood test. He simply ordered the test to be completed when the driver refused consent. Later, the officer told authorities that he did not think he was required to obtain a warrant prior to ordering the blood draw.
The U.S. Supreme Court has since been left with the question of whether the circumstances justified the failure to obtain a warrant prior to ordering the blood test.
During oral arguments for the case -- Missouri v. McNeely
-- the justices appeared hesitant to concede that warrants should never be required before ordering blood draws in suspected DWI
The government argued that requiring warrants in such situations would allow time for alcohol to dissipate in the motorist's blood. Nevertheless, it was acknowledged that in some circumstances, warrants can be obtained in a matter of minutes.
Some of the justices expressed concern about ignoring the protections provided in the Fourth Amendment when such an intrusive procedure -- drawing blood -- is at issue. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides that people have the right "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."
The justices noted that breathalyzer tests would not pose the same level of intrusion; however, attorneys for the government stated it was a difficult proposition to force an individual to submit to a breathalyzer.
Protect your rights when facing a DWI charge
When facing criminal charges, it is important to be aware of your rights. If you are currently facing driving while intoxicated charges, consulting with a skilled, criminal defense attorney will ensure a strong defense is established on your behalf.
Article provided by Kyle Simpson & Charles Gold
Visit us at www.yourtexasdwi.com/---
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