Switch to Desktop Site
 
 

Supreme Court: forced blood tests in drunk-driving cases not always OK

The Supreme Court decision Wednesday means that sometimes police will need to obtain a warrant in drunk-driving cases before administering a forced blood test – and that sometimes they won’t.

About these ads

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to create a categorical rule that would have allowed police to force drunken drivers to submit to a blood test without first obtaining a warrant from a neutral judge.

Instead, the majority justices said police cannot automatically rely on the dissipation of a drunken-driving suspect’s blood-alcohol level to justify police action without a warrant.

In a 5-to-4 decision, Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected an argument made by Missouri officials that police in the state were entitled to force DUI arrestees to undergo warrantless blood tests.

How much do you know about the US Constitution? A quiz. How much do you know about the US Constitution? A quiz.
 

State officials said that the dissipation of a suspect’s blood-alcohol level through metabolism marked the ongoing destruction of evidence and created an exigency that justified fast police action without a warrant.

The majority justices disagreed.

Next

Page 1 of 4

Share