Tuesday, May 28, 2024

DUI News Blog

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No Warrant, No Blood

The United States Supreme Court held in Missouri v. McNeely that forcing an unwilling suspect to have their blood drawn without first securing a warrant is a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. The Supreme Court concluded that the exigency exception to the warrant requirement did not apply in routine DUI cases because the simple fact that blood alcohol levels dissipate over time did not constitute an emergency.

In drunk-driving investigations, officers must typically take the suspect to a medical facility so that a trained medical professional can conduct the blood draw. There is an automatic delay between when the arrest occurs and when the blood is taken, regardless of if there is a warrant, causing a suspect’s BAC to dissipate. If a police officer can reasonably obtain a warrant during this time, the Fourth Amendment mandates they do so. Therefore, a warrant is necessary before obtaining a blood sample in “routine” DUI cases; however, if other factors are present (i.e. an accident) the courts will look to the totality of the circumstances in determining whether exigency exists in those situations.

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Virginia Landry

Virginia Landry

Virginia L. Landry is founder of the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., a recognized and proven criminal and DUI defense law firm serving clients throughout Orange County. Ms. Landry is Board Certified in DUI Defense from the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) and the past Board of Director of the Orange County Bar Association. She remains committed to defending the rights and futures of her clients, and has built a reputation for her honest and aggressive advocacy.

One Response

  1. These are the minute points that lawyers miss (specially inexperienced ones). I found this blog really helpful for those who are new in industry and for those also who are attentive towards their profession.

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