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SCOTUS Weighs Warrantless Drunk-Driving Tests


January 10, 2013

The New York Times reports on reactions from Supreme Court justices in a case involving whether law enforcement can obtain blood samples from suspected drunk drivers without a warrant. Prosecutors argued time is of the essence in such instances because of the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood stream. According to the report, “There seemed little enthusiasm among the justices for that categorical approach,” but there was a “search for a middle ground that would take account of the practical realities of roadside stops, body chemistry and the administration of justice in the digital age.” Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. said government-backed intrusions into the human body with sharp needles would be a “pretty scary image,” and Justice Antonin Scalia called for a case-by-case approach, the report states. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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