If a police officer pulls you over and suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he may request that you submit to a test of either your blood or breath to measure the amount of intoxicants in your system. In certain situations, Tennessee law enforcement officers may detain you for a mandatory blood draw, such as a vehicle accident that causes injury, if you are a multiple DUI offender, or if a child under age 16 is with you in the car. Beyond these and other limited exceptions, the police must petition a judge or magistrate for a search warrant before capturing a blood sample.
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether warrantless blood samples were proper in ordinary DUI investigations under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Missouri case sheds light on a trend by states to chip away at constitutional requirements in these situations, but fortunately one expert felt that the justices weren’t swayed by the government’s arguments. Essentially, only in the limited scenarios as mentioned before will the government be allowed to use exigent circumstances to avoid 4th Amendment warrant requirements. The Court’s opinion should be issued in a few months.
If you or a loved one have been charged with Driving Under the Influence, it is very important that you immediately consult a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable and aggressive, so as to understand your rights and protect your interests. Contact Forrest Wallace at the Law Offices of Gary Dawson at (865) 525-7113 to schedule an appointment.