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  1. #1
    Jenna's Avatar
    Jenna is offline sheep
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    Supreme Court to rule on whether police can force DUI suspects to undergo blood tests without warrants

    The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case testing whether police must get a warrant before forcing a drunken driving suspect to have his blood drawn. The court has long held that search warrants are ordinarily required when government officials order intrusions into the body intrusions like drawing blood from an unwilling individual. The court has reasoned that such intrusions amount to a bodily search and thus are covered by the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement. But the court has also ruled that there are exceptions to that requirement in what are called exigent situations emergencies. And Wednesday's case tests how broad the definition of an emergency may be.The case began in Missouri in 2010. Tyler McNeely was driving 56 mph in a 45 mph zone at 2 a.m., when he was stopped by state highway Patrolman Mark Winder. The officer administered four field sobriety tests. McNeely failed all of them, and when he refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test, he was arrested and taken to a hospital, where he also refused to allow his blood to be drawn. Although Winder had gotten warrants in the past without difficulty in such situations, he did not try to get one this time. He ordered the blood drawn. It showed a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, and McNeely was charged with driving under the influence.At trial, though, the judge threw out the blood test because it was obtained without a warrant. The Missouri state Supreme Court unanimously agreed, noting that there were no events that would have interfered with getting a warrant there was no accident to investigate, no injury requiring medical attention, and a judge was on call to review a warrant application quickly. The state court said that under these circumstances, there was no justification for failing to get a warrant before forcing an unwilling suspect to have his blood drawn.The state of Missouri appealed, contending that because alcohol dissipates in the bloodstream over time, that alone constitutes an emergency situation that justifies forcing a blood draw without a warrant.
    http://www.npr.org/2013/01/09/168868...ake-blood-test

  2. #2
    Rhino's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like there's enough to convict without the blood sample. Be that as it may, it sounds unethical to order a blood test "anyway" without a warrant and without consent.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  3. #3
    SteelCityK9Cop's Avatar
    SteelCityK9Cop is offline Officer First Class
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    That's a goofy story... most states have laws like ours in Pa where the refusal suspends the license and you proceed with the DUI prosecution under the other subsections of the DUI statute such as the general impairment section.

    The only time I have ever seen blood drawn against the will of the patient was during a fatal DUI crash.

    I wouldn't call it unethical...just unreasonable under the circumstances.

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  4. #4
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCityK9Cop View Post
    That's a goofy story... most states have laws like ours in Pa where the refusal suspends the license and you proceed with the DUI prosecution under the other subsections of the DUI statute such as the general impairment section.

    The only time I have ever seen blood drawn against the will of the patient was during a fatal DUI crash.

    I wouldn't call it unethical...just unreasonable under the circumstances.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    Given the circumstances -- I wouldn't call it unethical. But you'd think the cop would know that the 4th Amendment pretty much precludes any law that removes the ability to refuse consent. I suspect the outcome will be that you need a warrant, unless there are clearly defined exigent circumstances like in Schmerber
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  5. #5
    stillamarine is offline Rookie
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    Our policy is to get a warrant. State law says you gave implied consent when you got your license. Only time we draw is for a fatal or serious physical injury case.

  6. #6
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    Don't they have fail/ refuse to give sample offences ?
    "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" Edmund Burke.
    "the world is a dangerous place place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do not do anything about it" Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    SteelCityK9Cop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standard Dave View Post
    Don't they have fail/ refuse to give sample offences ?
    In my state at least there is no crime in refusing. They suspend your license and you get charged with the highest penalty for DUI.

    The lack of a warrant for blood draws has always been due to exigent circumstances....and that won't change... you must have your samples within a small window...generally of two hours. The issue as I see it is a matter of reasonableness.... does the level of crime rise to the need to obtain this evidence against the will of the person? In all but death and serious bodily injury cases I would say no.. and that is why we have implied consent and civil penalties for refusing a test.

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