Supreme Danger

The Supreme Court of the United States has recently taken up a case from Missouri which has the possibility to significantly reduce privacy rights of motorists in the United States. The case involves a man from Missouri who was stopped by a police officer late one night on suspicion of driving drunk. While he was placed under arrest, he refused to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test, citing his constitutional right to refuse a search without a warrant. The officer nevertheless pressed onward with a blood test, forced on the individual without his consent or the legal authority to do so, because, according to the officer, it would have been to difficult to obtain a warrant at that time.

The issue which the Supreme Court must now decide is whether or not such an action on the part of the officer is allowable under the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights. There is precedent for officers in such situations being given permission to proceed with blood tests without a warrant, but to this point, that has been limited to very particular circumstances, whereas this case leaves open the possibility that any police officer who has probable cause to assume an individual is driving while drunk and does not believe that they can get the necessary warrant in time may force the individual to submit to a test without their consent. Such an expansion of police powers would be a considerable blow to individual liberties, considering the broad latitude which the standard of “probable cause” provides to law enforcement officials. Those who have been subject to chemical testing in these types of conditions should pursue the assistance of a DUI attorney to receive appropriate representation against overzealous law enforcement.

Read More

Implied Consent

When an driver is stopped by a police officer under suspicion of drunk driving, they are often asked to submit to a breathalyzer test to show whether or not they are breathalyzerlegally intoxicated. In most cases, the driver will have the option to refuse to submit to this test. However, this does not come without its own consequences. In fact, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer is against the law in most states, under what are known as implied consent laws.

Implied consent laws hold that, merely by operating a vehicle on a public roadway, the driver has given their consent to be administered a breathalyzer test if suspected by a police officer of driving under the influence. Therefore, refusing a breathalyzer test will automatically result in license suspension and possibly even a short stay in jail. In addition, most police officers can get a warrant in a short amount of time to conduct a breathalyzer test against the individual’s wishes. If you believe that you have been wrongly accused of a DUI or DWI, you should contact a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Read More