When a driver is unconscious they can be given a blood draw

On June 27, 2019, the United States Supreme Court (Mitchell v. Wisconsin), held that when a driver is unconscious and being taken to a hospital because of his or her condition, the exigent-circumstances doctrine generally permits a blood draw without a warrant. This fundamentally means the Supreme Court held that when police have probable cause to believe an unconscious motorist has committed a drunk driving offense, police may “almost always” draw blood without a warrant.

The argument at hand was whether a state “implied consent” law that authorizes a blood draw from an unconscious motorist violate the Fourth Amendment? In this case, the answer is no. The state argued that Mitchell impliedly consented to the test simply by virtue of driving on state roads, under Wisconsin’s implied-consent law. That law says that any person who drives on public roads in Wisconsin “is deemed to have given consent to one or more tests of his or her breath, blood or urine, for the purpose of determining the presence or quantity in his or her blood or breath, of alcohol . . . .” The law further states that a “person who is unconscious or otherwise not capable of withdrawing consent is presumed not to have withdrawn consent under this subsection . . . .”

If you or a friend have been arrested for DUI, please contact us at 316-267-2000 or go to duiwichita.com.

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