Mo. drunk driving case headed to U.S. Supreme Court

Sep 26, 2012

A Cape Girardeau drunk driving case is going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court will decide if police can give a blood test without a warrant.

After Tyler McNeely failed a field sobriety check and refused the breath test, a Missouri State Highway Patrol Officer took him to hospital where he had a blood test.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri represents McNeely. Legal director Tony Rothert says the officer infringed upon McNeely’s fourth amendment protection from unreasonable search by drawing his blood without a warrant.

“Sticking a needle in someone’s arm to take out blood is intrusive," Rothert says. "So that is more of an invasion and has been thought, to now anyhow, to require a warrant.”

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in McNeely’s favor. Rothert says the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the case because states have ruled differently on the warrant requirement.

Oral arguments will likely take place early next year.