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SCOTUS: Warrant Needed for DUI Testing

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

April 18, 2013

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that in most cases police need to try to obtain a search warrant prior to ordering blood tests for suspected drunk drivers, NPR reports. The court sided with the defense in Missouri v. McNeely, which argued that taking the defendant’s blood without his consent or a warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood is not generally a sufficient reason to dispense with the warrant requirement. The court did not offer guidance on when police may obtain a blood sample without a warrant, but the report states Justice Anthony Kennedy said an upcoming case may give the court an opportunity to say more.
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