A man from Maryland was pulled over in Pennsylvania, while driving down Interstate 83 in York Township. Police believed he was under the influence. They made him do field sobriety tests and then asked him to take a blood test to be sure. The man said he would not submit to the test.
The police then went and got a warrant to carry out the test. The man was later arrested for drunk driving.
This all sounds very straightforward, but it's actually something of a landmark case in that it demonstrates how the law will have to be used going forward regarding DUIs and blood tests. In the past, drivers who refused tests were criminally charged in some states, or at least given the most serious DUI charges. Back on June 23, though, the U.S. Supreme Court said that criminally charging a person who did not submit to a blood test was unconstitutional.
The way the law is being enforced now, police do have to get a warrant to take blood if the driver does not submit voluntarily. Experts also noted that there is nothing to prevent the police from using this option. They just have to take that one extra step to get the warrant, and they can't give the driver additional charges or harsher charges for not voluntarily doing the test.
Blood tests have been rather controversial over the years, but this Supreme Court ruling could change the way police operate and get rid of some of the controversy. It's important for those who have been accused of driving under the influence to know what rights they have based on the Supreme Court's decision.
Source: YDR, "When will police get warrants for blood in DUI cases?," Dylan Segelbaum, July 18, 2016