When Missouri v. McNeely was decided in 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the judgment of the Missouri Supreme Court holding, that in a DUI investigation, "the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant."
What that means for the average person is that a police officer cannot hold you down while he sticks a needle into your arm to take your blood by force, at least not without a warrant. If the Court ruled differently officers might could have begun routinely taking blood by force if the person refused to submit to a breath test.
The attorney who represented McNeely, Steven Shapiro, offered his opinion:
"We know from experience that drunk-driving laws can be strictly enforced without abandoning constitutional rights. Today's decision appropriately recognizes what half the states have already demonstrated – that maintaining highway safety does not require sacrificing personal privacy."
In Florida, however, police officers cannot get a warrant to take blood after a person suspected of a misdemeanor DUI refuses to submit to breath or urine testing.
What does result is the following:
- A "refusal" can be used against the person at trial as consciousness of guilt
- A second refusal can is an additional criminal offense (up to 12 months in jail)
- A one year administrative suspension of driving privileges, even if they are found not guilty at trial. Eighteen months for a second refusal.
Arrested? Don’t Wait. Call My Firm Today!
If your blood was drawn without your consent after a DUI arrest, then please contact my office to discuss your case. Regardless of how serious your charges are, you still have rights – should you retain my legal services, you can trust that I will work tirelessly to ensure those rights will be protected. When your liberties are hanging in the balance, you can be confident that I will go above and beyond in building the best possible case on your behalf.
My firm is ready to hear from you today. Call Jonathan Blecher, P.A. today at (305) 707-0036 to request your free consultation.