Should Police Need a Search Warrant to Forcibly Draw Blood From Someone Suspected of DUI?
This week the Supreme Court of The United States is hearing a DUI case. More specifically the justices are deciding if police need a search warrant to forcibly draw blood from a person suspected of Driving Under the Influence.
The case that is before the court stems from a DUI arrest in Missouri. The defendant in that case, Tyler McNeely, was pulled over on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence by a Missouri State Trooper. Mr. McNeely’s speech was slurred, and he failed a field sobriety test. He was then arrested for DUI and refused to take an alcohol breath test.
The trooper then transported Mr. McNeely to a hospital where his blood was drawn while he was handcuffed. The case went up to the Missouri Supreme Court. There they determined that the blood test violated the protection against unreasonable search and seizures.
The question now in front of the US Supreme Court is whether police must obtain a warrant before drawing blood from a suspect. The Court has yet to rule on this matter but has previously determined that warrants are required for urine tests. The Court’s ruling will most certainly have a ripple effect across the nation, altering the way DUI investigations are conducted.