We’ve been looking in recent posts at a recent Supreme Court decision which held that states may not impose criminal penalties upon DUI suspects who refuse to submit to blood testing. Taken together, the recent ruling and the McNeely decision mean that law enforcement officers must ordinarily have a warrant before taking a blood draw, and may not criminally punish a DUI suspect for refusing to submit to blood testing.
These decisions, taken together, mean that law enforcement is likely to continue to make liberal use of breath testing as a means of gathering evidence in DUI investigations. State laws which impose criminal penalties for blood test refusal will have to change, of course, but the actual impact on DUI investigations might be relatively minimal.
The warrant requirement is an important issue to investigate in any DUI case, as well as drug cases stemming from DUI investigations. Though law enforcement officers are supposed to be well trained in the various legal rules and requirements regarding searches and seizures, they don’t always act correctly, whether because of ignorance, forgetfulness or carelessness, or some other motive or circumstance.
Legal remedies may be available in cases where a defendant’s DUI or drug case could be impacted by illegally obtained evidence, but it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the process and the rules for taking advantage of protections available in such situations. Such an advocate can help ensure that a defendant has the best possible opportunity to protect his or her rights and interest throughout the legal process.