Line drawn between blood and breath tests in DUI stops

When you are pulled over because a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that you are driving after drinking, things usually move pretty quickly. At some point during the stop, you might be asked to take a field sobriety test. You might also be asked to take a breath test to determine your blood alcohol concentration. You have the right to refuse that breath test, but that refusal can trigger a different chain of events.

If you don’t want to take a breath test and refuse, you risk your license being suspended. It is also possible for the law enforcement officer to get a blood sample to test to determine your BAC. Some counties in Missouri already have a policy that a search warrant must be obtained to get a blood test. A new ruling from the United States Supreme Court says that a search warrant is now required for all blood tests to check BAC.

Before this ruling, it was possible for law enforcement officers to get a blood test to check for the BAC without needing a search warrant. There isn’t any need for a search warrant if a breath test is what is being requested. The Supreme Court ruling drew the line between these two types of tests. The blood test is too intrusive to be conducted without a warrant, according to the ruling.

This ruling could have significant impacts for Missouri residents. Learning about the developments as they occur can be a big part of the defense strategy of anyone who is facing charges for driving after drinking alcohol.

Source: KSPR, “Supreme Court ruling could impact drunken driving arrests in Missouri,” June 23, 2016


FindLaw Network