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Police Must Get A Warrant For DUI Blood Tests

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The US Supreme Court recently ruled that law enforcement officials must get a warrant before ordering DUI suspects to undergo a blood test.

Earlier this year, a Dauphin county DUI case caused the Pennsylvania State Police to suspend the use of Breathalyzers for DUI stops along state highways, including the Schuylkill Expressway.

Under the state’s implied consent law, DUI suspects had to submit to blood tests or lose their driving privileges for a year.

“There were some issues with the calibration. We have since made some changes to the way our systems are calibrated, so we are back up and running,” said State police spokesman Adam Reed.

He also said breathalyzer came back online a few weeks ago, but if police have reason to ask for chemical test to check for drug use, they can still ask for one.

Philadelphia DUI attorney Joe Kelly said under the Supreme Court’s ruling in Missouri v. McNeely if a suspect refuses, police have to get permission from a judge.

“Before they take the blood, they must have a warrant because it’s an intrusion on someone’s rights,” Kelly said.

Kelly said refusal could mean waiting hours in jail in Philadelphia, and all blood is drawn by a licensed professional.

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  • Supreme Court Says Warrants Necessary for Blood Tests

    […] Pennsylvania’s implied consent law recently went before the Supreme Court, with questions about the personal rights of suspected drunk drivers. According to CBS Philly, a recent breathalyzer calibration issue in Pennsylvania suspended roadside tests for drivers thought to be driving under the influence of alcohol. Because of the inability to use the non-invasive testing, suspected DUI drivers were, instead, subjected to blood tests or faced losing driving privileges. The Supreme Court stepped in and citing concerns over violations of personal rights, ruled that a warrant must be presented prior to any blood draw. Read more here: Police Must Get A Warrant For DUI Blood Tests […]

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