US Supreme Court Hears DUI Blood Draw Case

DUI cases are rarely heard by the United States Supreme Court. However, on January 9, 2013 in Missouri v. McNeely, Docket Number 11-1425 oral arguments were held on whether police need to get a warrant in order to draw a suspected drunk driver's blood.

The Constitution of the United States and the Illinois Constitution guarantee a person's right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Thus, police usually are required to obtain a warrant before they are allowed to search.

In DUI cases, criminal defense attorneys argue taking a person's blood to test for alcohol is a seizure which is intrusive because a needle intrudes into the person's body, and thus the police should be required to get a warrant. Currently many states do not attempt to obtain a warrant before taking a person's blood, however llinois does requires a warrant in order to take a person's blood in most cases. The US Supreme Court decision will give an answer to every state as to whether a warrant is required.

In the McNeely case, the officer did not attempt to get a warrant before he drew the defendant's blood. The prosecution argued alcohol is constantly leaving the body and thus they shouldn't be required to have a warrant.

During oral argument, the Justices of the Supreme Court seemed to agree that a warrant in most cases will be required, but we won't know for sure until the ruling is issue.

Just as the police are not allowed to come into your home and look around without a warrant, police should not be allowed to have a medical procedure performed on you without a warrant.

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