High Court: Police Usually Must Seek Warrant in DUI Blood Tests


Police usually must try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests for drunken-driving suspects, the Supreme Court ruled today. The Associated Press said the justices sided with a Missouri man who was subjected to a blood test without a warrant and found to have nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said for the court that “the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant.” Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, saying, “police who have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed should not have to guess how long it will take to secure a warrant.” Three other justices dissented in part. Missouri and the Obama administration ask the court to allow the tests without a warrant.

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