Supreme Court Gets It Wrong With Its DUI…July 18, 2013 | in Defensive Driving Tips
Missouri’s push to more easily draw blood from people suspected of driving drunk failed to convince U.S. Supreme Court justices Wednesday.
Law enforcement must continue to seek warrants to take blood from drivers stopped for possibly driving impaired, the court ruled in a case that originated in southeast Missouri.
More than 30 other states and the Obama administration had joined Missouri in asking justices to give officers almost complete discretion in drawing blood samples without a warrant.
The Supreme Court held that police usually must try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests for drunken-driving suspects.
In their 8-1 ruling, justices sided with a Missouri man who had been subjected to a blood test without a warrant and was found to have nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court that the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood is generally not sufficient reason to dispense with the requirement that police get a judge’s approval before drawing a blood sample.
The case stemmed from the Oct. 3, 2010, arrest of Tyler McNeely in rural Cape Girardeau County.
A state trooper stopped McNeely after he observed his car speeding and swerving. McNeely, who had two previous drunken-driving convictions, refused to submit to a breath test to measure the alcohol level in his body. He also failed several field sobriety tests.
The arresting officer, Cpl. Mark Winder of the Missouri Highway Patrol, said McNeely’s speech was slurred.
Winder did not attempt to get a warrant but drove McNeely to a hospital, where a technician drew his blood. McNeely’s blood alcohol content was 0.154 percent, well above the 0.08 percent legal limit.
After a circuit court threw out the test results, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld that action, saying that the blood test violated the Constitution. Police need a warrant to take a suspect’s blood except when a delay could threaten a life or destroy potential evidence, the Missouri court added.
Justice Mayor failed to list “the natural BAC level.” which is .02…supposedly
The system isn’t a flawless one; however, both victims and DWI offenders have navigated these rules for justice for years. While I feel the punishments could be more severe for DUI offenders, the process of due process endorsed by the Supreme Court is an over reach. The process we currently have shouldn’t be turned upside down. She failed to verify that in her decision.
The “natural” alcohol content in humans is .02 or under. Justice Sotomayor’s view,
and rises every hour for drinking alcohol’. Not anywhere the suggested eight hours of
drinking in this case. The court’s ruling is flawed.
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