Supreme Court rules necessity of warrant in most DWI blood draws

Apr 17, 2013

The United States Supreme Court ruled today in a Missouri case that police cannot take a blood test from a drunk driving suspect without a warrant, during a routine drunk driving arrest.Tony Rothert is the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. He says the decision requires police officers to consider all circumstances during a drunk driving arrest when deciding if a warrant is necessary. 

“If under the circumstances there is time to get a warrant, then the police officer should get a warrant. If given the circumstance there is not time, then it might be justifiable to take blood without a warrant,” said Rothert.

About half the states already prohibit such warrantless draws.

The case springs from the arrest of Tyler McNeely, who was subjected to an involuntary blood test during a routine drunk driving arrest in Cape Girardeau County in 2010.

The state of Missouri argued that alcohol dissipates in the blood stream while officers await a warrant, thus destroying evidence