Supreme Court to Hear Breathalyzer Case

When it comes to testing for DUI, law enforcement officers have several means to accomplish this task. They have field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, and then blood and urine tests. However, some testing methods have recently come under scrutiny.

The Supreme Court will hear cases where people were charged with crimes for refusing to take deep lung breathalyzer tests. The cases will be heard out of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Currently, thirteen states have laws on the books stating that refusing to take such a test is a crime. Those states are: Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.

A few other states like California, Mississippi, Missouri, and Montana are considering similar laws.

The brief to the high court argued that in such situations, if the arguments are correct, people who have been subjected to such criminal penalties are having their constitutional rights infringed.

The case was won at the Minnesota Supreme Court, claiming that the tests were sought after arrest and neither blood nor urine tests were sought without a warrant.

Since the court ruled in 2013 that blood tests cannot be sought without a warrant, refusing such tests after arrest should not constitute a separate crime.

It is thought that tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people are subjected to criminal penalties every year with these laws currently in effect.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, contact our attorneys today. All of our attorneys specialize in DUI defense.

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