Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of
Missouri v. McNeely
, holding that officers must generally get a warrant before they forcibly
draw someone's blood during a DUI investigation. The language of the
court's decision, however, has created confusion about what situations
truly require that a warrant be obtained before a blood test can be forced.
Now the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to review a
Colorado case where there was a forced blood test that allegedly showed the driver's
blood alcohol content was approximately three times the legal limit. The
driver was unconscious at the time his blood was drawn and so was unable
to consent to the test.
Several other states have also asked the high court to review this issue
and make a clearer ruling. The Supreme Court's decision - if the court
does agree to hear the case - will have significant national impact. DUI
cases are often based upon the results of blood tests - many of which
are performed without unqualified consent. A Supreme Court ruling that
these warrantless draws are unlawful would mean that the results of those
tests could not be used to help prove a person's guilt.