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U.S. Supreme Court To Consider Search Warrant Requirement for DUI Blood Draws

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon be deciding whether police officers need to obtain a search warrant prior to drawing blood in a DUI investigation.

In the State of Florida, there are certain instances in which police officer can obtain a blood sample during the course of a DUI investigation.

Under Florida's implied consent law, blood can be drawn if the administration of a breath or urine test is either impractical or impossible. Also, under implied consent, an officer may order a blood test when an officer has probable cause to believe the DUI investigation subject has caused death or serious bodily injury to any human being. This would apply to a DUI manslaughter investigation.

And of course, a person can simply consent to a blood draw.

If the Court decides that a search warrant is required, law enforcement and prosecutors fear that blood draws will not reflect a subject's true blood-alcohol level as the time it takes to obtain the warrant would allow for the alcohol to dissolve in a person's bloodstream.

On the other side of that argument, proponents of a search warrant requirement for DUI blood draws believe that sticking someone with a needle and taking their blood without their permission is the most invasive form of a seizure by the government. The government, by and through the police, is literally taking blood from your body. If police need a warrant to enter your home, shouldn't they need a warrant to enter your body?

Eric Matheny is a Miami DUI attorney and Broward DUI attorney.