Those who know even a little bit about DUI defense know that search and seizure issues are "all the rage" among criminal defense attorneys. Jokes aside, though, search and seizure issues are quite important for DUI defendants to explore with the help of their attorney. One of the basic reasons for this is that prosecutors should not be allowed to benefit from illegal police investigations.
One of the big court cases in this area of law was decided back in 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court held in that case, often referred to simply as McNeely, that police officers must consider several factors when determining whether it is appropriate to force a DUI suspect to submit to a warrantless blood draw.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal out of Colorado which sought further clarification of exactly when officers could force a warrantless blood draw. As it stands now, the law is clear that natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream of a DUI suspect is not a sufficient reason to forego obtaining a warrant. The challenge for police officers now will be determining what additional factors may help contribute to a warrant exception in DUI cases.
To repeat, DUI defendants should always carefully scrutinize the work of law enforcement officers when building a defense case. When search and seizure issues come up, there are certain remedies that may be applied which can end up benefitting a defendant's case. Working with an experienced attorney in such cases ensures a defendant's rights will be protected.
Source: The Denver Post, "Supreme Court won't hear dispute over DUI blood tests," Jan. 12, 2015.