According to a ruling by the Supreme Court, law enforcement officers may not draw blood without consent or a warrant. However, implied consent laws have since made these laws a bit trickier to navigate. Drivers who are pulled over under suspicion of DUI are subject to implied consent laws, which will result in the legal requirement to provide a blood sample.
The Fourth Amendment requires a warrant for a blood test unless there are extenuating circumstances. Based on individual rights to privacy, the Supreme Court has made it clear that blood tests are not to be required by law. However, if an officer has arrested driver under suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer may sometimes surpass the need for a warrant.
This is only permissible if the officer has reasonable cause to believe the driver is on drugs or under the influence of alcohol and there is not any other way to determine intoxication. For example, if someone is under the influence of drugs a blood test is the only way to obtain absolute confirmation.
Even in these circumstances, the officer should still obtain a warrant first, unless there is not enough time to do so without evidence being lost. However, there is rarely, if ever, not enough time for the officer to first obtain a warrant.
Drawing blood without a warrant can be detrimental for the collection of evidence against accused persons. If you were submitted to a blood test without your consent, or without a warrant, your rights under the Fourth Amendment may have been violated. As a result, the evidence gathered against you may be considered unlawful and therefore unsuitable for use.
If an officer took a blood sample without your consent or without a valid warrant, we want to help. Contact Brad Bailey Law to discuss your case with our experienced Boston criminal defense lawyers.