Supreme Court Could Allow Police To Take Your Blood Without Warrant

A couple years ago, a Missouri man named Tyler McNeely was pulled over for speeding. According to the cop that pulled him over Cpl. Mark Winder, he appeared drunk and unsteady, so he asked that McNeely submit to a breath test. When McNeely refused, Winder took him to a hospital and ordered a blood test. McNeely refused the blood test, but Winder had the lab technician take his blood anyway to test his blood alcohol level. It turned out that McNeely had a blood alcohol level over the limit, after which he was arrested.

McNeely’s attorney persuaded the judge to throw out the blood test as evidence since there was no consent from the driver to be searched, and there was no warrant obtained by the cop. But the Missouri legislature had just changed a law that year regarding sobriety tests that allowed police to give anyone a breath or blood test with or without consent of the driver. In fact, based on the new language in the law, driving on Missouri roads itself is now an implied consent to be sobriety tested. If you choose to drive in a car, then you are giving your consent to be tested upon request by a cop. The language also states that refusing a sobriety test will be used as evidence against you.

Winder said in response that he was simply going by this new law change that didn’t require any further consent on McNeely’s part, and that since he was driving in Missouri, that’s all the cop needed to test him.

Further, Missouri prosecutors appealed to a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court decision in California. In Schmerber v. California, a Mr. Schmerber was in a car accident, and when he was transported to the hospital for medical treatment, his blood was also tested for alcohol level. No warrant was obtained, and because of the man’s condition, no consent was granted either. The court upheld that the police had a right to get the man’s blood tested without warrant or consent because of the “exigency” of the situation. The police officer was in effect investigating the accident scene, and obtaining a warrant to test the man’s blood would have taken too long. By the time the warrant was obtained, Mr. Schmerber’s body would have already metabolized the alcohol in his bloodstream.

For the past 50 years, prosecutors have appealed to this case as justification for police to test any driver’s blood for alcohol levels with or without consent or warrant. They argue that the test needs to be done in an “exigent” manner so that they get the most current reading before the blood is metabolized any further.

Now, the U.S. Federal Government has sided with Missouri prosecutors, writing "the fact that the evidence of intoxication is necessarily leaving the suspect's system provides the required exigency."

And under a separate Missouri law, Mr. McNeely’s driver’s license was revoked because he refused the breath and blood tests. If you refuse these tests even if you’re innocent, that’s against the law.

The Supreme Court’s ruling could have an effect on all 50 states’ DUI laws. “If you’ve done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to hide,” right? Well, I’ve never driven drunk, but that doesn’t mean I want cops taking samples of my blood just because they can. I guess we don’t even own our own blood anymore.

As for DUI laws in general, I think they’re similar to gun control laws. Guns don’t kill people; people do. It doesn’t matter how many prescription drugs are in the killer’s system or how mentally deranged he is. If someone commits murder, that person should be executed. If someone kills another person while driving drunk, that drunk driver should be executed for murder (in general). You don’t ban cars or ban alcohol. You get at the source. The driver himself.

Assuming Mr. McNeely’s case is as cut and dried as it sounds, then he didn’t actually commit any crime at all. He was going over the speed limit, but he didn’t hit anyone, kill anyone, or damage anyone else’s property. If he had, that would be different.

DUI’s are more about revenue than protecting people from being killed by drunk drivers. Lauren Owens, a research attorney for a lawyer organization in Texas stated, “The outcome of the case could lead to a dramatic increase in the number of DWI cases supported by blood evidence." It’s about money and power. They treat everyone like criminals, and if you dare try to exercise your Constitutional rights, you’ll go to jail.


  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.skripka Daniel Skripka

    Many states have implied consent laws. The question is if this is an reasonable search incident to an arrest. Although he was going over the speed limit, its not clear if he failed a standard three step field sobriety test to justify an arrest.

  • Centurian2010

    In CA they take your blood without consent. You can refuse the breathalyzer but when you get to the station they force urine or blood test if you are unable to urinate. The officer tells you whether you pass or fail the field sobriety test, which has been disputed before.

  • CARLjr

    How about this: If you refuse to take the breathalyzer, you automatically get charged with DUI at twice the limit. It would be in your best interest (even if you have been drinking) to take the test to verify your BAC isn't inflated just because you are a belligerent drunk. Take the test or don't. Just know that the only way to NOT BE ARRESTED is to pass the test.

  • RickC

    I don,t agree with this, however, drivingin all state is a privilege, not a right. States do not have to issue a drivers license to you, and if they don't issue one, do not have to give a reason why not.

    • Ruggedlark

      I agree with you. Driving IS indeed a priveledge.

      However. Taking blood without consent is not just theft, its an invasion of privacy. Also. Can you just imagine how sophisticated the testing can get on your blood?

      Obviously, I'm not talking just about a BAC here. Lets just think for a minute....Oh, my blood test can (possibly) lead the medical community to hypothesize that there is something in my genes that they want.

      Taking a person's blood without consent is almost equal to rape.

      • CARLjr

        Then take the breath test.

        Of course, if you are whacked out on bath salts, Meth, or LSD it wouldn't show up on the breathalyzer. I guess you are ok with people on drugs driving around? It's fine to endanger everyone else. Just gotta get my fix, right Ruggedlark? How am I supposed to get to my dealer's house?

        By the way, using "rape" in your argument never works - ask all the politicians who tried it during the election and LOST.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1254545548 Jim Greaves

    Verbal or "symbolic" threats OR gesters constitute ASSAULT. The "threat" of pricking one's skin with a sharp object is ASSAULT. Actually pricking anyone with a needle, without consent, is BATTERY. Government is asserting - and the SUPINE court will decide whether or not - it has "POWER" to BATTER without consent. Assault AND battery are SEPARATE crimes in ALL jurisdictions, compounded when done together - in some cases FELONIES. Police and government has NO authority under ANY of our 50+1 constitutions (incl. US Constitution), to either assault or batter anyone without a trial. Has nothing to do with "cruel and unusual punishment", which is a proscription AFTER a trial and a verdict. If they do so to anyone of us, I advise that one get a lawyer and file a multi-million dollar lawsuit for assault and battery against ALL parties to the invasion. Invasion. That reminds me of the STATE(S)' power to repel invasion [war against invaders] if the Feds are not "timely" in their defense of the state(s) which might be "in imminent danger". This obviously applies to individuals whose bodies are threatened with invasion by ANYONE. How would the "pricking cops" like to have their families invaded? Or themselves invaded? Oh, they'd scream felonies to the rooftops! We should do likewise. Otherwise, we are no free citizens of anywhere.

    • CARLjr

      Scared of needles, are you? Take the breath test then you pansy. If your delicate princess skin cannot handle a tiny needle - you should not be ingesting alcohol or arguing with the police.

      • Ruggedlark

        Just so willing to give your rights away, aren't you?

        You must be liberal.

        • CARLjr

          Driving a car is not a right. If you are not willing to follow the most basic rule of driving - BE SOBER, then you do not deserve the privilege of a driver's license. We need to take these imbeciles off the road.

        • Conspiracy#1

          People can have a stoke, heart attack..our have any other medical issue and , still kill someone. You know truckers fall asleep at the wheel, can you fix that......will taking blood w/o consent bring back ANYONE from any tradgey????????? NO! No driving isn't a right..it is a neessity. What about giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens...just happened in illinois..now what about that can of worms. Talk about rewarding bad behavior....REALLY!!

        • Ruggedlark

          Wait a minute.

          Driving is not a right, and I never said it was.

          Driving is a privilege, that we pay (and we pay and pay and pay) for.

          You want to clean up the road? Really. I have a 19 year old son that thinks its ok to plow thru a 45mph curve at 70. Sober.

          My 17 year old daughter has been driving my F350 pulling a 22' gooseneck trailer since she was 12.

          People come to maturity differently. At any given time you are on the road with a person high, drunk, or on medication. Someone having a stroke.

          Taking MY blood without my permission in the event of a traffic accident, a traffic stop, is not acceptable.

          Think about that. And, I will think about who it might be that got killed by a DD that you know.

        • Conspiracy#1

          Amen...nothing more to say!!!!!

        • ZACAL

          These opinions are like ass holes, everybody has one. That includes you too - you liberal indoctrinated fool.

      • Conspiracy#1

        It's the principle of it, where do the violations stop. You like your civil liberties broken...or infringed upon???? Wake up.

        • CARLjr

          The violation is the dead family that was hit by a drunk driver.

          There is a breath test - you do not have to go down this road. The only reason the blood was taken was because this drunk was belligerent and refused to breathe into a tube. Of course he WAS drunk. Why defend this jerk?

        • Tionico

          what you advocate is punishment before a crime is committed. Dead people, killed by drunk drivers ARE a problem. In such cases, serious charges need to be brought. Same as if killed intentionally. BUT... unless the guy is driving so erratically as to clearly not be in control of his car, or has actually been in or caused a crash, no crime has been comitted. IF crashes caused by drunks were to be prosecuted with the severity they deserve, people would make better choices and they would stop. Same with guns.. felons have forfeited their right to arms by commission of certain violent crimes against others, or wilfully misused arms in commission of other crimes (armed robbery, etc). They are debarred the use of arms by their PAST CONDUCT. And this is right. Trouble is, far too many felons debarred the use of arms are later caught with them, and little to nothing is done about it. THIS is the problem.... no real punichment for crimes ACTUALLY committed. Now they are clearly trying to take MY guns away, and I've never harmed ANYONE. Same witih driving a bit tpisy... if I can't handle a car, I won't drive it. Simple. Punish actual crimes, not potential ones. Some are fully functional at .12 percent, others are debilitated at .03 percent. WHY is there such a difference between "legally" and "actually" drunk?

        • CARLjr

          Driving a car while intoxicated IS a crime. It is not just a crime when you crash. If you drink enough that .08% of your blood is alcohol - it is illegal for you to drive. Period.

      • Daniel from TN

        Breathalyzer tests are not admissible in court in some states.

    • CARLjr

      Pansy.

    • jack

      If you draw blood it is aggravated assault, much worse

  • She said it

    Sorry, I simply can't agree that a police officer should be able to "decide" that someone can stick a needle in my arm and take my blood. Use whatever testing you want. But I disagree with someone taking blood against their will.

  • EBlake

    They already do this. It happen to my son after he had been in a quad accident ridding down the side of the railroad, my daughter rushed out to the accident and wittnessed them taking his blood in the ambulance, and then handing it to the police.

  • daydreamer

    This is nothing new, CDL license holders have been forced to do this for years if they are involved in an accident. The auto drivers are now beginning to find out what professional truck drivers have endured for years, and it will only get worse.

    • Daniel from TN

      In Tennesse, all drivers in a fatal or near-fatal crash must be immediately taken to the hospital for blood tests. In Tennessee you give consent to be tested, under certain circumstances, as a condition for obtaining a driver's license.

  • noelle2011

    HELL NO!
    THIS IS JUST MORE OF THIS POLICE STATE BULL SH%^
    WHERE THE COPS THINK THAT THEY CAN BE ABOVE THE LAW!
    THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN!

    • CARLjr

      More than 10,000 people die in drunk driving accidents each year. (that is one every 51 minutes)

      We should be making this process EASIER not harder. No legal hoops to jump through. If you are caught drinking and driving, convictions should be simple and automatic.

      • noelle2011

        NO this process does NOT need to be made easier!
        THE DAMN COPS NEED TO GET A WARRANT AND IF WE SAY NO THEN THEY F-ING COPS NEED TO BACK THE HELL OFF AND GO GET A WARRANT!

        • CARLjr

          No warrant necessary. If you do not give consent for the breath test - automatically arrested. Drunk driving should be a zero tolerance offense. Once you have a DUI under your belt, you should not be able to drive a car without the built in breathalyzer/ignition switch.

        • Conspiracy#1

          Absolute power corrupts....absolutely. No one should be above the law or constitution. You know there are crooked cops also!!!!!! It's all about the money, it's always about the money!!!

        • CARLjr

          It's about drunk drivers killing innocent people.
          Yes there are steep fines.
          Good.

        • jack

          The last thing to do is give them blood the urine or breath test is good enough. Here in Ca you have to submit to one of them or loose your license

        • Daniel from TN

          There was an article on TV about that the first week in January. The device is still in the experimental stages and has several bugs in the system still to be worked out. The designers believe it will be at least five years before the device is ready to be installed in vehicles on a regular basis. Even then, it will only be available in new vehicles. One of the bugs is how to retrofit it for older model cars.

      • jack

        If you dri9nk don't drive that's my philosophy, 2 Miller lites on Fri over 4 hours is enough for me, you just got to go out & circulate when you are single

  • Ben Dover

    screwed again!

  • Conspiracy#1

    Lets all leave the country...they can have it...wait we paid for it!!! Lets kick them out.

    • jack

      Thank you for the best idea I have heard come from some one else in a long time, glad to see someone else has the same ideas I have

  • tod

    The Supreme Court needs to be charged with High Treason !!!

  • jack

    That is an easy one, Just tell them that you are not refusing, but it is against your religion to have your skin punctured with a needle, but find out which religions are against it before you do that way you sound like you know what you are talking about you know Jehovah witness, 7th day adventice, ones like that what is that one that tom cruise belongs too the one that Ron Hubbard started or promoted. Me I belong to the church of the green back lol

    • Daniel from TN

      I'm not aware of ANY religion opposed to needle punctures for medical reasons. Some are opposed to blood transfusions, but not the administration of doctor prescribed medication.

  • Doc

    Cops already do this. It's called probable cause for DUI.

  • Daniel from TN

    In some states, if you are suspected of drunk or drug impaired driving and you refuse to take a test, then under the law you are guilty of DUI. In some states refusing to be tested is an offense in itself, asuming there was a reasonable suspicion at the time.

  • ZACAL

    Justice Roberts must be having another seizure like the one he had with Obamacare...

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gary-Clark/1591340690 Gary Clark

    WHEN HELL IS A SOLID BLOCK OF ICE AND BARACK OBAMA IN FROZEN INSIDE!!!