DULUTH, MN — On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in saying officers can draw blood when a motorist, suspected of impaired driving is unconscious.
The question before the Supreme Court had to do with what happens when a motorist suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unconscious, generally as a result of a crash.
Wisconsin law said that in that case, blood can be drawn even without a warrant. Lawyers for the driver argued drawing blood was in violation of the Fourth Amendment because it prohibits against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Brent Olson a Criminal Defense and DWI lawyer, says he understands it is a compelling topic, but balance is needed.
“In exchange for your ability to operate on public roadways, implicitly you consent to having your blood-alcohol tested when you’re suspected of drinking and driving. The line that is always drawn is freedom and safety, and we kind of have to have a balance of those things all the time,” said Olson.
Olson says it was unusual for the Supreme Court to take up this case after ruling on a similar one three years ago in North Dakota, where they decided on warrant-less breath samples.
As for what’s next, going forward Olson says the Supreme Court ruling means one more piece of evidence to analyze during similar cases.