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Supreme Court: No Warrantless Blood Tests for DUI Stops

The Supreme Court has held that warrantless breath tests may be conducted incident to arrests for drunk driving, but warrantless blood tests may not. The Court stated:

Blood tests are a different matter. They “require piercing the skin” and extract a part of the subject's body. Skinner, supra, at 625, 109 S.Ct. 1402; see also McNeely, 569 U.S., 133 S.Ct., at 1558 (opinion of the Court) (blood draws are “a compelled physical intrusion beneath [the defendant's] skin and into his veins”); id., 133 S.Ct. at 1573 (opinion of ROBERTS, C.J.) (blood draws are “significant bodily intrusions”). And while humans exhale air from their lungs many times per minute, humans do not continually shed blood. It is true, of course, that people voluntarily submit to the taking of blood samples as part of a physical examination, and the process involves little pain or risk. See id., 133 S.Ct., at 1563–1564 (plurality opinion) (citing Schmerber, 384 U.S., at 771, 86 S.Ct. 1826). Nevertheless, for many, the process is not one they relish. It is significantly more intrusive than blowing into a tube.

See: Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S.Ct. 2160 (2016).  

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Related legal case

Birchfield v. North Dakota