SCOTUS debating blood tests for drunk drivers

The US Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether police can force suspected drunk drivers to have blood drawn.

The issue is whether a blood test constitutes an "unreasonable search," which is prohibited by the fourth amendment.

Prosecutors have argued that because alcohol in the body dissolves quickly, police need to act fast to get a breath test or a blood test - 31 states, including Texas, and the Obama Administration agrees.

"The idea of the government forcibly taking you and strapping you down and taking blood samples, that scares a lot of people," said Attorney Cade Bernsen.

The American Civil Liberties union argues that a police officer must first get a search warrant before making a suspect take a blood test. 

Bersen thinks forcibly taking someone's blood should not be common practice.

"It needs to be monitored, there needs to be strict rules and regulations to make sure the privacy of the person involved is protected," said Bernsen.

"It's okay, it won't hurt. if you're not guilty you're not guilty," said Beaumont resident Shirley Danna who thinks the U.S. Supreme Court should allow law enforcement in all states to administer blood tests.  she believes it will cut down on drunk driving deaths and isn't an invasion of anyone's rights.

"Invasion of privacy is when they come into your house and force you to do something not when they stop you because you may have been drinking," said Danna.

Texas has an "Implied Consent" law, which says after you're arrested for a DWI an officer can draw your blood with or without your permission.

You can refuse to take a breath or blood test but if you do it can be used against you in court and your license will be suspended for at least 180 days.

The US Supreme Court's decision is due early next year. It will define the powers of the police and the rights of motorists who are suspected of driving while intoxicated.


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