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Supreme Court of The United States Rules on Warrantless Blood Testing in DUI Case

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court on warrantless blood tests in cases of suspected DUI charges in Missouri v McNeely.   The post may be read here. On April 17, 2013, the Supreme Court issued its decision and held that taking and testing a driver’s blood without a warrant was a violation of federal law. In the opinion, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that, although individuals have a lower expectation of privacy while they are in their vehicles,  even in this setting people have a  high expectation of privacy from having their skin pierced.  The Court relied on the Fourth Amendment’s exclusionary rule, and decided that the blood test evidence was inadmissible against the defendant. The Supreme Court was not persuaded by the government’s argument that, since alcohol dissipates from the blood quickly, warrantless blood testing is justified under the so-called exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement. In Massachusetts, you always have the option to refuse to submit to a blood test or breath test.  Watch Attorney Steven Brooks discuss your options here. If you are facing a DUI charge, contact Brooks and Crowley LLP to speak with an experienced DUI attorney today.  

Contributed by Laura Martin

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