The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that tackles the question of whether police must get a warrant before requiring a person suspected of drunk driving to provide a blood sample.
The case involves a Missouri driver who was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). The driver allegedly refused to take a breath test to measure his blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
The officer arrested the driver and took him to a local medical laboratory, where the driver’s blood was drawn for testing without a warrant and in spite of the driver’s objections. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that, in most cases, police should get a warrant for any intrusive bodily search, including a DUI-related blood draw.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal from the Missouri prosecutor, who argues that requiring police to get a warrant before drawing blood in a suspected drunk driving case will destroy evidence by giving the suspect time to “sober up.” The driver in this case, however, argues that the Fourth Amendment gives U.S. citizens protection against searches like blood draws that are performed without a warrant.