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Supreme Court requires police to obtain a warrant for blood tests

A common tactic among the police is to subject people who are arrested for driving under the influence charges to blood tests. They are especially useful if a particular person is involved in an accident. The blood test can be administered in the hospital while the person receives treatment. Before this ruling, the police argued that consent was implied. But now, police must obtain a warrant. This post will explore this ruling and how it affects police tactics.

The Supreme Court decision now requires all police to acquire a warrant before they blood test an individual. That means police must fulfill the judicial paperwork to acquire a warrant and prove that there is probable cause that the suspect caused the accident due to being inebriated and that the blood test will illuminate that point. The goal is to introduce a judicial check on the police to ensure that they respect people's rights.

This case arose from three separate individuals, two in North Dakota and one in Minnesota. Each of the individuals were asked if they would submit to a breath test and all three refused. They were warned that they would face charges for refusing to submit. They still refused and two were subjected to a forced blood test and the other a forced breath test.

The Court ruled that the blood tests are inherently invasive and therefore, require a warrant. But the Court omitted the breath test from the ruling, stating that the intrusion onto ones breath is minor.

If you are facing a DUI/DWI charge then you may want to speak to an attorney. Most of these charges can be managed but if they aren't you face severe damage to your reputation and perhaps even your freedom. A lawyer can review your case, interface with the prosecutor and negotiate a fair deal or represent you in court. There are numerous specialized rules that can trip you up if you are not prepared for them. An attorney can ensure that you are ready for every step of your defense.

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