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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Case on Warrantless DUI Blood Testing

Posted by Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney | Jan 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

Breath Testing and Blood Testing in Washington State DUIs
In Washington, if you are suspected of driving under the influence, you are sometimes ordered to submit to a blood alcohol test. If you refuse a breath test, for example, police can get a warrant for a blood test. But apparently, some states aren't even trying to compel suspects to take these tests without even getting a warrant - and the U.S. Supreme Court is looking into it.

This week, the high court heard arguments in a Missouri case where a drunk driving suspect had his case tossed out of court because authorities did not obtain a warrant from a judge before testing a suspect's blood alcohol level. Lawyers for the state argue that police do not need to take the time to get a warrant because of the speed at which alcohol dissipates in the bloodstream. They also claim that suspects take advantage of driving drunk in jurisdictions where the process to receive a warrant is lengthy, because the eventual blood test results show a level of intoxication that is below Missouri's legal limit.

The American Civil Liberties Union, who is representing the suspect, says that sticking a needle into a handcuffed suspect's arm is too intrusive and violates an individual's Fourth Amendment rights to illegal search and seizure.Lawyers also argued that because Missouri has an implied consent law, that means that suspects have the right to refuse to be tested.

The Supreme Court may rule on this case later this year. It's important to keep in mind that in Washington, you also have the right to refuse an breath test; but doing so triggers the state's "implied consent" law and subjects you to a driver's license suspension of anywhere between two and four years.

About the Author

Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney

Highly rated by former clients, who praise his warm, knowledgeable courtside manner and his fierce determination to reduce or eliminate charges. An accomplished speaker, author, and leader in DUI defense statewide Kevin is well respected by judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys across the State of Washington for his expertise, integrity, and knowledge in the complicated forensic science area of impaired driving allegations.


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