An appeal by Arapahoe County prosecutors of a DUI case decision won’t be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court let stand a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that excluded blood test evidence in the case.
The state had argued that law enforcement officials should be allowed to obtain blood samples when they believe there’s not enough time to obtain a warrant before a suspect’s blood alcohol level drops, the Associated Press reported.
The news service noted that two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court had decided in a different case “that authorities must consider several factors and be able to justify why they did not obtain a warrant before drawing blood.”
The Fort Morgan Times reported early last month that the latest case began when an Arapahoe County man drove into a rush-hour intersection and hit an oncoming car. The man’s blood-level was tested at nearly three times the legal limit.
The officer who arrested him never tried to obtain a warrant to do the blood test, however.
The Colorado Supreme Court eventually ruled that the blood-test evidence could not be used against the man. Now the nation’s highest court has refused to hear the case, letting the Colorado decision stand and compelling law enforcement to continue to get warrants before ordering a blood draw from a suspect – or be able to justify their failure to get a warrant.
The Arapahoe Chief Deputy District Attorney said warrantless cases are not uncommon. The prosecutor expected the Supreme Court to provide clarity to the issue, which it has done by allowing the exclusion of the blood-test evidence to stand.
Attorneys experienced in DUI defense understand the laws protecting you against unconstitutional searches and can help you protect your rights and freedom.
Source: Associated Press, “Supreme Court won’t hear dispute over DUI blood tests,” Jan. 12, 2015