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.