SCOTUS Limits Drunk-Driving Test Laws


The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that suspected drunk drivers can be charged with a crime if they refuse a breathalyzer test, but that the same is not true for blood tests.

In order to perform a blood-alcohol test, authorities must have a warrant or consent. As it stood before, 12 states and the National Park Service imposed criminal penalties on drivers they believed to be under the influence who refused to submit to testing.

The court determined today that those penalties—with regard to blood testing—violated the Fourth Amendment, which allows a “search” on a person of interest only if they have a warrant. Read more.



  1. Unquestionably the correct decision. It should be no problem for the arresting officer to get a warrant by phone or internet in the time it takes to take the driver to the police station. Right wingers have been blasting the ban on the use of evidence obtained without warrants but the issuance of a warrant is an important safeguard against law enforcement overreach.


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