The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that police are required to obtain a search warrant before they can gather a blood sample from a driver in many DWI situations. This has thrown a massive roadblock into DUI enforcement, though attorneys say the warrant requirement is necessary and legal to protect citizens of the United States. Many attorneys say this ruling is in line with Americans' constitutional rights. One attorney told Houston News that there is no reason by a police officer should need a warrant to search a home, but be allowed to invade a person's body using a syringe without permission. Eight of nine justices upheld a previous Missouri Supreme Court decision that blood alcohol dissipation does not authorize officers to conduct a warrantless blood draw.
The case, which was taken all the way to the federal level, started with a case in Missouri when a man was stopped for speeding on a rural road. According to reports, the driver failed several field sobriety tests, and his blood-alcohol content was 0.154 percent, meaning he was driving illegally under the influence. Instead of getting a warrant and taking a blood sample from the offender, the police officer took the man to the hospital and a technician drew the blood while the suspect was handcuffed. The Missouri Supreme Court declared that the evidence in the case needed to be tossed because the blood test was taken without a warrant. This was an unreasonable search and seizure.
Prosecution argued that the natural dissipation of the alcohol in the blood is enough cause to void a warrant. The prosecution claimed that officers may need to take the blood sample quickly, and getting a warrant may take too much time. Still, the court did not agree. They officials declared that officers need to get a warrant unless there are extenuating circumstances in order to protect an American's fourth amendment rights. About half of the states authorize warrantless blood draws when there are not pressing circumstances, but the Supreme Court's ruling may reduce the amount of warrantless blood draws in the United States while encouraging officers to respect the citizens' rights in the event of an arrest.
If you have been arrested for a DWI and the officer demanded that you submit to a blood test even though the law enforcement officer did not secure a warrant, then you may be able to get your case dismissed. You will need a hardworking and reliable Houston criminal defense attorney on your side. Talk to a Houston DWI lawyer at the Martinez Law Firm today if you want to protect your rights as an American and ensure you are not convicted of a DWI based on a warrantless blood sample!