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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Missouri v McNeely
By MADD | January 14, 2013| 13 Comments | Filed in: Drunk Driving

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard the case of Missouri v. McNeely, which involves a law enforcement officer ordering a blood draw on a suspected drunk driver without a search warrant.

Law enforcement is key to drunk driving prevention, and we need to ensure officers have the tools they need to enforce drunk driving laws — ultimately, making our roads safer.  That is why MADD supports testing the BAC for of any drunk driver where there is probable cause and submitted an amicus brief in support of the blood draw, saying that the state has a compelling state interest to prevent drunk driving.

After law enforcement has arrested a driver based on their performance during a standard field sobriety test, they have probable cause to obtain BAC evidence in as timely a manner as possible.  Because the body breaks down alcohol over time, it is imperative that this evidence is obtained as close to the arrest as possible to ensure the result is the most accurate depiction of the suspect’s BAC at the time of the alleged drunk driving offense.   Failure to obtain timely BAC evidence often results in a lack of conviction. 

Forcing officers to obtain a search warrant after probable cause has already been established gives drunk drivers continued motivation to refuse to submit these tests in the hope that the delay will give their body just enough time to process the alcohol and their lawyer just enough leverage to obtain an acquittal.  It is our hope that the Supreme Court will reinforce the importance of drunk driving as a compelling state interest and allow law enforcement to enforce our drunk driving laws by obtaining the best evidence available at the time of arrest—an accurate BAC. 


   

Comments

Submitted by Common Sense is not so common at 07:49 AM on April 2, 2013
Buckeyes, they would get a warrant of they had to remove it from the suspect's body! Big difference!
Submitted by RaiderRick13 at 06:00 PM on February 18, 2013
It's a shame that a "good cause" (MADD)has now become so powerful that they have no problem abdicating a POLICE STATE in the interest of Safety! (YOUR OWN WORDS: "It is our hope that the Supreme Court will reinforce the importance of drunk driving as a compelling state interest and allow law enforcement to enforce our drunk driving laws by obtaining the best evidence available at the time of arrest—an accurate BAC.") The Supreme Court will NOT "reinforce" a concept that they REJECTED many times before! Benjamin Franklin said it best ... Those who would give up essential liberties for temporary safety & security ... Deserve neither Safety, Security Nor Liberty! Mr. Franklin was well aware that the PRICE of FREEDOM is Eternal Vigilance ... NOT the destruction of our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS!! You can not legislate human behavior ... You can only reward it or punish it AFTER the fact! IMHO!
Submitted by Kramer at 12:12 PM on February 14, 2013
Good point Harmon.. should have the same stigma as DWI with the same penalties. More people die from sober and distracted driving then drunk driving.
Submitted by Buckeyes Against Drunk Driving at 07:21 PM on January 23, 2013
ev·i·dence 1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof. 2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign. 3. data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects. When someone is murdered it is up to the police to collect all the evidence. The evidence includes whatever weapon was used to kill the victim. With a drunk driving crash, the most important evidence is blood of the at fault driver. When the police are at the scene of a murder, and the suspect is holding the smoking gun...do the police say hold on for about 30 minutes while I try to get a warrant for that gun you're holding. NO, they immediately take the gun as evidence to a crime. The blood of a drunk driver is the same exact thing as a gun used to murder someone...Blood of a drunk driver is EVIDENCE TO A CRIME! Buckeyes Against Drunk Driving (facebook)
Submitted by Well Said! at 03:55 AM on January 23, 2013
The 4th admedment is a right I do not want to give up. Getting a warrent takes no more than 30 minutes (or less)this topic shouldn't have been supported by MADD, you are clouding the lines between keeping our roads safe and supporting processes that take our rights away for no reason.
Submitted by Anonymous at 03:51 AM on January 23, 2013
MADD has gone too far in destroying our "Constitutional Right." The Police are out-of-control and doing more "harm" then good. The matter at hand is allowing police to be savage and killers.
Submitted by raider at 09:21 PM on January 22, 2013
Taking the requirement for a search warrant to obtain breath, blood or urine testing undermines the Due Process protection guaranteed in our Nation's Constitution. This right is key to all the other rights we enjoy. If law enforcement cannot get a search warrant then there was obviously no probable cause to detain and arrest in the first place. Drunk driving is selfish and arrogant. It needs to be prosecuted but specifically by the legal rules.
Submitted by rec at 07:01 AM on January 20, 2013
The US Supreme Court seems to be taking up many Fourth Amendment cases lately, perhaps recognizing the chasm between technological advances and current statutory and case law. I support the wonderful work done by MADD in keeping the roads safer and supporting legislation bringing greater punishment on grossly irresponsible (at best) drunk drivers; however, when it comes to constitutional rights I believe we must look beyond our individual causes to a greater good. Approving warrentless orders to draw blood would be a dangerous precedent for the United States. Those who watch the court closely know that these kinds of cases will affect a wide range privacy cases for all time (except in very rare cases of reversal). What is more intrusive than a violation of the body? If the court rules a violation of the body is not substantial enough to require a warrant that could be relied upon for ever expanding, intrusive policies. I would rather see localities change their procedures and appropriate funds, where necessary, in order to accommodate a more secure right to privacy. As far as Mr. Mcneely is concerned, he is certainly guilty, and it would be a shame to let him go. Unfortunately, this is a necessary part of our process that, in my opinion, serves the greater good. Without overturning a rapist's conviction (Miranda v. Arizona) we would not have our modern Fifth Amendment rights. The police and DAs decried that ruling as an assault on law enforcement and said it would severely hamper their efforts. Now we know that is not the case and its impact greatly exaggerated. The same will be said and done here. There would be an adjustment period that will have negligent impact on law enforcement efforts, but our rights will be strengthened a little more.
Submitted by Terry at 07:53 PM on January 18, 2013
Alan - perhaps an even better solution would be to eliminate all cars and trucks. That way there would be no traffic-related deaths at all. And, unlike alcohol where you can't tell by looking at a car if the driver is impaired, if you saw a car there would be a violation. The government can not, and should not eliminate every potential problem because some percentage of the population misuses something. Do we eliminate all knives from kitchens (prevent stabbings), baseball bats (prevent clubbing), row boats and canoes (prevent drowning), dogs (eliminate dog bites) etc. No, every citizen has to take responsibility for his or her behavior. And, after reading your diatribe, you are far from even recognizing your responsibility in having a DUI. To take responsibility you have to stop blaming anyone other than yourself and your choices.
Submitted by disagree with madd at 02:38 PM on January 16, 2013
the 4th admedment is a right I do not want to give up. Getting a warrent takes no more than 30 minutes (or less)this topic shouldn't have been supported by MADD, you are clouding the lines between keeping our roads safe and supporting processes that take our rights away for no reason.
Submitted by PJKJr at 08:23 PM on January 15, 2013
Alan - perhaps an even better solution would be to eliminate all cars and trucks. That way there would be no traffic-related deaths at all. And, unlike alcohol where you can't tell by looking at a car if the driver is impaired, if you saw a car there would be a violation. The government can not, and should not eliminate every potential problem because some percentage of the population misuses something. Do we eliminate all knives from kitchens (prevent stabbings), baseball bats (prevent clubbing), row boats and canoes (prevent drowning), dogs (eliminate dog bites) etc. No, every citizen has to take responsibility for his or her behavior. And, after reading your diatribe, you are far from even recognizing your responsibility in having a DUI. To take responsibility you have to stop blaming anyone other than yourself and your choices.
Submitted by DUMMMY at 11:57 AM on January 15, 2013
MY NAME IS ALAN I HAVE RECENTLY HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A ( OVI ) I DID SEE THAT I HAD AN ALCOHOL PROBLEM IN THE WORST WAY & TOO LATE, I BELIEVE IN MADD NOW I C THERE GOALS ON DRUNK DRIVING, YES THE DRIVER SHOULD B RESPONSIBLE 4 HIS OR HER ACTIONS NO MATTER WHAT BUT WHAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND IS WHY HASN'T ANY ONE GONE STRAIGHT TO THE REAL PROBLEM OUR GOVERMENT ??? THEY HAVE TAKEN OVER THE ALCOHOL BUISNESS 4 MANY YEARS NOW, THEY MAKE SELL & MAKE HUGE PROFIT WEATHER IT WOULD B SOMEONE BUYING THE ALCOHOL OR STANDING BEFORE A JUDGE BECAUSE OF THE ALCOHOL SOLD TO THEM BY THE FEDERAL GOVERMENT APPROVED ALCOHOL !!! SHOULDN'T OUR FEDERAL GOVERMENT B HELD RESPONSIBLE AS WELL 4 CONDONING SUCH ACTIONS & PROFITING FROM THIS AS WELL ??? THEY MAKE THE DEVILS JUICE SELL IT THIS WOULD B THE ROOT OF THE WHOLE PROBLEM STOP PRODUCING ALCOHOL AND WE WOULD NOT HAVE SO MANY ACCIDENTS DEATH OR DRUNK DRIVERS & THEY WOULD NOT MAKE PROFIT FROM NONE OF THIS !!!
Submitted by harmon at 10:35 AM on January 15, 2013
you have done a great job clearing the roads of drunken drivers. why don't you add cell phones to your goal to make the roads safer.

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