Supreme Court Rules Warrantless Blood Draw of Unconscious Person is Constitutional
The United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled this morning that law enforcement are not required to obtain a search warrant to perform a blood draw from an unconscious person suspect of DUI.
The Court stated that the “exigent circumstances doctrine generally permits blood test without a warrant.” The case involved a man who was arrested for DUI in 2013. The officers escorted him to the hospital when he became lethargic. Unable to answer questions or whether he consented to a blood draw, the officer told hospital staff to draw the suspect’s blood.
The defendant, Gerald Mitchell, contested the blood results in a motion to suppress hearing stating that it violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment. The majority opinion, written by Justice Alito, stated that officers must administer a blood test if a breath test is not possible.
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