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Can Police Take My Blood Without a Warrant?

The U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling recently that enforces the rights of people who are stopped by police for a suspected DUI. On April 17, 2013, the Court ruled that officers must obtain a warrant before they can legally draw blood from a person who is accused of DUI, even if they refuse consent for the blood test.

The topic of taking one’s blood without their consent has been hotly debated topic in recent years. Law enforcement agencies argue that warrants should not be required because of the time-sensitive nature of the blood tests. However, the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed and said such reasoning does not justify a warrantless blood withdrawal.

Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, people are provided protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. This amendment requires police to obtain a warrant before they can conduct a search of or seize something on your body or property. However, there are “emergency” situations that might justify a warrantless search, and would therefore be considered “reasonable” by the court.

Massachusetts DUI Law

Like many other states across the country, Massachusetts has an “implied consent law” that affects drivers who are stopped for DUI. Under this law, all Massachusetts drivers must give their implied consent to an officer’s request to draw blood or breath. Refusing a blood test for DUI can result in expensive fines and suspension of your license for 6 months or longer. In addition to these penalties, you might still end up being convicted of DUI, which means you will face consequences that are more severe.

If you are arrested for a DUI, you should contact an experienced attorney to help you protect your rights. At Flanagan & Associates, we are available 24/7 to help with all of your legal needs. Call (781) 332-4344 to speak with us today.