Are Warrants Really Necessary? DUI Controversy Arises

In some states, DUI offenders are required to have a warrant before they are allowed to draw blood from a suspect. Failing to get this warrant before performing the tests is sometimes considered unreasonable search and seizure. Yet recently the Supreme Court has been probing into an issue that claims police may no longer need to obtain search warrants before they draw blood from a motorist that is stopped for drunk driving.

The Supreme Court was asked to rule on this issue this week, and they are still deliberating on an answer. According to the Los Angeles Times, there have been cases in the past where a guilty DUI offender has gotten off free because of an inadmissible DUI test. In some situations, the court determined that even if a person was guilty, the fact that the evidence was obtained illegally was enough to keep that person from being sentenced. Now, if the Supreme Court declares that all police can obtain blood samples without a search warrant, it will revolutionize DUI law and send many more offenders to prison for their crimes. Lawyers will no longer be able to argue that evidence should be thrown out as inadmissible because it was obtained illegally.

According to the Obama Administration, taking blood sampled without a search warrant should be legal because the BAC in a person’s body dissipates as time goes on. By the time that a police officer is able to secure a search warrant and take a suspect’s blood, a guilty driver may already have dropped below the 0.08% BAC level. Because of this, the police are not able to charge a person with drunk driving even if he or she was originally guilty and had an original BAC above 0.08%. Therefore, the President suggests that police should be allowed to father a blood sample without a search warrant and save time.

Those in opposition to the new ruling say that if police are permitted to take blood tests without a warrant they may abuse the privilege. Suddenly they have the right to take blood samples from people who may be completely innocent. The police won’t have to report a specific reason to authority in order to take a test, so they may be too liberal. The Supreme Court has no cause to do away with additional protection, but many are waiting breathless to see what the ruling is. The Los Angeles Times comments that if police are allowed to solicit tests they won’t take pains to determine if there is another reason that a driver may appear intoxicated. For example, a driver may be under the influence of a heavy medication or be extremely fatigued rather than inebriated. Now, the police won’t know this until they have taken the test and inconvenienced the suspect.

If you want more information about DUI law, then the attorneys at Lessem & Newstat LLP can help. These dedicated lawyers are accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and Attorney Joshua Erin Newstat at the firm has a 10.0/10 rating on Avvo. As well, Jeremy Lessem at the firm is certified to practice law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. This is not a requirement for lawyers but it certainly is a beneficial qualification. The firm is also home to Super Lawyers® and attorneys that have been AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®. When you want a lawyer you can trust to handle your case, whether you are dealing with a DUI misdemeanor or a serious murder case, then you need to contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Lessem and Newstat. Talk to these attorneys by dialing (818) 392-4020 or (800) 462-7160 today!