US Supreme Court Should Ban Warrantless Forced Blood Draws

Jan 12, 2013 @ 10:38 AM — by Myles L. Berman

There is a case pending right now before the US Supreme Court where the issue is the legality of a warrantless forced blood draw in a DUI / Drunk Driving case. Previously, the court held that a blood draw administered in a way that does not shock the conscience of the court is valid. Since then, police agencies have administered countless forced blood draws on people arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving all across the country, especially in California. The government's argument is that since blood alcohol levels dissipate quickly, obtaining a warrant will delay/interfere with obtaining a blood sample. The counter argument is that a forced blood draw is an unconstitutional intrusion which most people are opposed to for many reasons, such as fear of needles, infection, contamination as well as citizens' rights against self-incrimination as well as to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. It is a harrowing experience to be forcibly held down by police officers while a government agent sticks a needle in someone's arm. Prosecutors can still prosecute someone for DUI / Drunk Driving without an alcohol level. It happens all the time on a daily basis all across the country. Finally, not giving a blood sample can also cause a person to be prosecuted even if the alcohol level is below a .08 since no blood sample was obtained. Not obtaining a blood sample in no way inhibits the state from prosecuting someone arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving!

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