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Supreme Court Will Rule on Blood Tests for Suspected Drunk Drivers

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

police officerThe Supreme Court will soon determine the constitutionality of blood tests for suspected drunk drivers. On Tuesday, the Court agreed to rule on whether police officers should be able to take a driver’s blood test without first getting a warrant. The case involves a Missouri driver who was pulled over for speeding, taken to a hospital and then found to have a blood-alcohol content nearly twice the legal limit. The driver argued that the blood sample should be suppressed because police had not obtained a warrant before taking the sample. Police officers argued that the quick dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream warrants a test without waiting for a warrant. Last January, Missouri’s highest court ruled that the practice violates the Fourth Amendment (which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures) to administer the test without a warrant. The Court said there were no “special facts” or “exigent circumstances” to justify the blood test without a warrant, but other courts are split over the question. If the Court rules that officers must obtain a warrant, it will have far-reaching consequences for the way law enforcement handles suspected drunk drivers.

Source: Reuters Blood tests of driver sobriety makes Supreme Court agenda

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