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Drunk driving: Can blood-alcohol test be forced? Case reaches Supreme Court.

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In contrast, state high courts in Iowa, Utah, and Missouri have ruled that dissipation does not excuse police from obtaining a warrant before conducting an involuntary blood test.

The Obama administration and attorneys general from 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam are urging the Supreme Court to declare that warrantless blood tests do not violate the Fourth Amendment.

In the case before the court Wednesday, McNeely was pulled over in October 2010 by Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Mark Winder. The trooper says he saw McNeely’s pickup truck speeding and veering across the highway’s centerline.

After stopping McNeely, the trooper noticed the driver had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. McNeely was given a field sobriety test, including the one-leg stand test. He performed poorly.

That’s when Corporal Winder asked McNeely to submit to a machine breath test. McNeely refused.

Winder placed McNeely under arrest for driving while intoxicated. On the way to the county jail, the trooper stopped at the hospital. After McNeely refused to submit to a blood test, the officer directed an attendant to forcibly extract a sample of McNeely’s blood.

The test revealed that McNeely had a blood alcohol content of 0.154 percent, significantly above the legal limit of .08 percent.

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