The U.S. Constitution grants American citizens certain rights. This includes the Fourth Amendment right protecting people from unlawful search and seizure by law enforcement. Many states require a warrant in order to obtain a blood sample from a motorist suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While each state has different laws and policies regarding the collection of evidence in a DUI case, some states, including Wisconsin, are under fire for having seemingly unlawful blanket policies and procedures on this issue.
Wisconsin is one state that has been known to obtain blood samples from motorists without a warrant, which some may find unconstitutional. Law enforcement officers argue that by the time a warrant is issued, the suspect's blood alcohol concentration level decreases significantly. In April 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling in a similar case saying that the decision to draw blood in absence of a warrant should be determined case-by-case.
Now the decision on whether or not law enforcement will be able to draw blood without a driver's consent is left up to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Although the new ruling will not apply to former instances where blood has been taken without a warrant, it will affect the way evidence is gathered in the future.
Those who are convicted of a DUI in Wisconsin may face substantial penalties, including fines, license suspension, mandatory use of an ignition interlock device and possible jail time. A DUI conviction can affect many other areas of life as well, including employment, education and family. People who face DUI charges may want to seek the legal advice of a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney. An attorney may be able to help maximize the results of your DUI case.
Source: Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin court to decide on testing drunk drivers without a warrant," Apr.18, 2014.