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Supreme Court DUI Ruling Regarding the Use of Blood Tests in Determining BAC

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DUI or driving under the influence is a criminal term used to refer to the crime of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. In the case of alcohol, a typical test referred to as the blood alcohol content is administered to determine the level of intoxication that the driver has. There is a specific threshold that forms the basis of the criminality of the driver’s actions. Precisely, if the if the blood alcohol content of the driver exceeds this threshold, the driver is deemed to have committed a DUI offense and is therefore liable to any legal ramifications that are attributed to DUI.

There have been several Supreme Court decisions regarding DUI in the recent past. One of the most notable Supreme Court DUI rulings regards the use of blood tests in determining an offender’s blood alcohol level. A blood test is indeed one of the most reliable ways of ascertaining a driver’s blood alcohol level but there have been various issues surrounding the use of this method especially with regard to the rights of the accused.

In the recent case of Missouri v. McNeely, the United States Supreme Court held that law enforcement officers should not automatically bac test in a dui investigation

One of the implications of the McNeely v. Missouri ruling is the requirement by law enforcement officers to conduct a totality of circumstances test in determining the need and impact of a search warrant. A totality of circumstances test is a basically a test to evaluate whether a certain decision taken by police officers or any other law enforcement officer will violate the constitutional rights of the perceived offender. Precisely, this test seeks to establish whether undue influence was used in obtaining consent from an accused. In the case of a DUI search warrant, law enforcement officers will be required to use the totality of circumstances test to determine whether consent for the search warrant issued by the arrested driver was obtained legally.

The McNeely v. Missouri case has indeed brought many aspects to the fray regarding the whole aspect of DUI including the application of the case’s provision in a real life DUI arrest situation.

A search warrant is an important legal document, and accords law enforcement officers the right to search a specified place for evidence pertaining to a specific case. The warrant does not require consent from the suspect and therefore any evidence obtained through the use of a properly administered warrant is admissible in court notwithstanding the position of the accused regarding such a search. The act of carrying out a blood test is indeed deemed as an invasive search for all intents and purposes and therefore, police must obtain a search warrant before undertaking such a search. Since the police conducted a blood search on McNeely without a warrant, they violated his rights and therefore gave him the legal basis of blocking any evidence obtained through such a violation.

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If you have been charged or believe you may be charged with a crime, an experienced criminal defense attorney is imperative. Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. aggressively handles all State and Federal criminal charges.  Contact our law firm to discuss your situation. Our Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney will strategically develop a defense designed personally for you and your situation. Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. represents clients throughout Broward County and all of South Florida, including: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Weston, Hollywood, Davie, Hallandale Beach, Plantation, Parkland,  Cooper City, and Coral Springs.