US Supreme Court Sides With Missouri Man, Says Warrants Needed For Most DUI Blood Tests

Apr 17, 2013

Updated 4:49 p.m. with reporting from KRCU's Jacob McCleland

The United States Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a Missouri case that police cannot take a blood test from a drunk driving suspect without a warrant during a routine drunk driving arrest.

Tony Rothert is the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri and says the decision requires police officers to consider all circumstances during a drunk driving arrest when deciding if a warrant is necessary.

“Half the states already prohibit blood draws without consent and without a warrant," Rothert said. "And now, absent true emergency circumstances, that will be the rule throughout the country.”

The case springs from the arrest of Tyler McNeely, who was subjected to an involuntary blood test during a routine drunk driving arrest in Cape Girardeau County in 2010.

The state of Missouri argued that alcohol dissipates in the blood stream while officers await a warrant, thus destroying evidence.

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