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Yesterday’s Supreme Court Ruling On DWI Blood Tests: What it Means for New York Motorists

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled yesterday (Missouri v. McNeely) that police must usually have a warrant from a judge before ordering a blood test from a subject accused of Driving While Intoxicated. The 8-1 ruling (only Justice Thomas dissented) was in favor of a Missouri man who was suspected of drunk driving yet the officer never sought a court ordered warrant before subjecting him to a blood test while handcuffed after he had refused a breath test.  The Obama Administration and the State of Missouri were seeking a blanket law allowing police to take blood tests without a warrant.

With this ruling, it is important to know as a motorist in New York that if you are arrested for a Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired offense there are  only three ways that a breath, urine or blood test can be taken from you. The first is if you are advised of your rights and requested to take a test and you actually consent to the test. Second is by a court ordered warrant. And lastly, which very few people are aware of, is implied consent. Implied consent is a law in New York that allows authorities to take the blood of a suspected drunk driver that is unconscious; however, that blood draw must be done within two (2) hours of his or her arrest.

Driving While Intoxicated is one of the most regularly seen arrests across this country, especially in New York.  It is important to know your rights and to be aware of what can and more importantly, what cannot, legally happen during an arrest. If you or a loved one is arrested or charged with a DWI offense it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows and understands these complex laws defending you. All of the attorneys at Collins, McDonald, & Gann are former prosecutors who have years of experience handling DWI cases. They can be reached 24/7/365 at 516-294-0300.

For more on this important Supreme Court ruling: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/17/supreme-court-dui-blood_n_3100551.html

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