Can Cops Draw a DUI Suspect's Blood Without Consent? US Supreme Court to Hear MO Suit

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Can a cop do this without consent? SCOTUS will decide...
Did a Missouri state trooper violate the U.S. constitution in October 2010 when he arrested a drunk driver in Cape Girardeau and drew his blood, even though the driver refused?

Looks like the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will now be making the final call on whether such a blood test amounts to an illegal "search and seizure" under the Fourth Amendment.

The nine justices in Washington, D.C. have agreed to hear Missouri state prosecutors' appeal in their case against Tyler G. McNeely, who -- by the way -- was pretty drunk that night he got pulled over. Nobody disputes that.

Here's what happened: In the wee hours of October 3, 2010, McNeely got stopped for speeding in Cape Girardeau by a corporal from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The corporal noticed the driver's bloodshot eyes and slurred speech and asked him to perform some sobriety tests.

McNeely flunked those tests. The corporal arrested him, then asked if he would submit to a breath test, but McNeely refused.

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Did an MSHP corporal really screw up?
The coporal had a choice here. He was a 17-year veteran of the patrol who had, in the past, obtained warrants for blood tests. But he'd also just read an article in Traffic Safety News -- we don't subscribe -- that argued that warrants weren't necessary because of changes to Missouri law.

So he drove McNeely to a hospital. McNeely refused to be administered a blood sample, but the corporal ordered one to be taken anyway, and the results showed McNeely was "well-above the legal limit."

He was charged with DUI, but moved to suppress the evidence, complaining that the blood test constituted an illegal search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. The ACLU of Eastern Missouri took up his case.

The Missouri Supreme Court took McNeely's side last January, ruling that the corporal was "not justified" in taking the sample because it was not an "emergency" situation where evidence was in danger of disappearing.

The state prosecutors have appealed.

Now the highest court in the land will be the final arbiter.

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Your_Momma
Your_Momma

"but the corporal ordered one to be taken anyway"

 

Who did he order to take it? And who listens to these orders? 

 

I wonder if these bootlickers would get the officer a glass of water if he showed up to their house and ordered one. 

NP_DailyRFT
NP_DailyRFT

 @Your_Momma Good question. Maybe I should've included that in the post. According to the opinion issued by the justices of the Missouri Supreme Court: "...the patrolman did not seek a warrant and drove Defendant to the local hospital to test his blood to secure evidence of his intoxication. There, Defendant refused to consent to a blood draw. Over Defendant’s refusal, the patrolman directed a phlebotomist to draw Defendant’s blood for alcohol testing at 2:33 a.m. The blood sample was analyzed, and the results revealed that Defendant’s blood-alcohol content was well above the legal limit."

 

Your_Momma
Your_Momma

 @NP_DailyRFT 

 

I wonder what legal recourse this guy may have against the phlebotomist. If someone sticks a needle in your arm on the street, that's clearly assault. 

This procedure wasn't consented to nor was it medically necessary. Nor was there a lawful order from a court or otherwise. Would a brain surgeon perform a frontal lobotomy if Corporal Respect My Authority told him to? The premise is absurd. Police have no such authority to order medical workers around. 

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