Toll Free 866-852-6426
Local 773-467-7079
Call For a Free Consultation Available 24/7
Choose a Defense Attorney With The Experience To Make The Right Moves

Supreme Court says no blood tests without a warrant for DUIs

The United States Supreme Court issued an opinion saying that it was unlawful for police to take a blood sample of a man who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. The man in this case was pulled over by police officers who observed behavior that indicated that he was intoxicated before asking him to perform tasks for a field sobriety test.

The man did not perform the tasks to the satisfaction of police, so they attempted to obtain a breath test sample, which the man refused. After transporting him to a nearby hospital to get a blood sample that the man also refused to consent to, police decided to take the sample anyways. Taking a blood sample is considered a "search" for the purposes, and under the Fourth Amendment suspects have a right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure.

In order to lawfully conduct a search without a warrant, the situation must qualify under one of several finite exceptions. In this case, the state court found that the situation did not fit within an exception to the warrant requirement, the more relevant of which would have been exigent circumstances requiring quick action by police in order to preserve evidence.

While it is clearly true that over time, the blood alcohol content in a suspect's blood stream will naturally dissipate, that is not sufficient to justify taking a blood sample without consent or a warrant.

A previous Supreme Court case asking a similar question found that a warrant was not needed to take a blood sample when there was an accident in which the driver and a passenger were injured.

Source: New York Times, "Court Rules Warrants Are Needed to Draw Blood in Drunken-Driving Cases," Adam Liptak, April 17, 2013.

Information about the rights of people who are suspected of driving while intoxicated is available on our Chicago criminal defense site.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Notable Results

  • Accusation: Attempt First Degree Murder
  • Facing: 30 years in prison at 85%
  • Result: Post-conviction petition granted
  • Accusation: Solicitation of a Prostitute, Obstructing Justice, Battery
  • Facing: 365 days in jail, loss of legal residence
  • Result: All charges but battery dropped, one year expungeable supervision
Read Our Reviews
Email us for response

Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Contact Us For A Free Consultation.

To get answers to your legal questions, call our firm at 866-852-6426 or send us an email.

Law Office of Stephen L. Richards
53 W Jackson Blvd
Suite 756
Chicago, IL 60604

Toll Free: 866-852-6426
Phone: 773-467-7079
Fax: 773-634-8107
Chicago Law Office Map

Email : [email protected]