The Supreme Court in South Dakota recently delivered an important ruling that will affect the way the state prosecutes drunk drivers. The Court ruled that it is not valid for a police officer to obtain a DUI blood sample from a possibly intoxicated motorist, under the state’s implied consent law.
The Court’s ruling is along the lines of a recent decision by the US Supreme Court. In South Dakota, under the implied consent law, when a police officer pulls over someone on suspicion of DUI, he is given a breathalyzer test and a field sobriety test. If the person fails those tests, he is arrested. He could be taken to a police station where he is administered given a blood test.
Under the implied consent law, it is automatically assumed that a motorist who is pulled over for DUI is consenting to a blood test. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that this is unconstitutional, and that police officers, who want to obtain a blood sample from a person they have taken to the station on suspicion of DUI, must find other ways to obtain that sample.
The ruling is expected to affect law enforcement agencies in the state, which are currently using the implied consent law. However, many law enforcement agencies in that state have given up using implied consent for quite a while now.
As part of the new ruling, police officers in South Dakota can obtain a blood sample by actually getting consent for a blood sample, or getting a search warrant.
Implied consent laws exist in the state of California as well. In Los Angeles, motorists can face consequences, including fines and penalties for refusing an alcohol test. Discuss your DUI case, including the penalties for alcohol test refusal with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles.