Mo. court rejects warrantless DWI blood test

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | 6:27 p.m. CST

KANSAS CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court has thrown out the results of a blood test on an unwilling suspect in a routine drunken-driving stop, ruling the officer should have obtained a judge's warrant for the test.

In a 2010 case from Cape Girardeau County, the court ruled Tuesday the warrantless test on the unwilling driver amounted to an unconstitutional search. The court said the simple fact that alcohol in blood dissipates over time doesn't justify the failure to get a warrant.

The Supreme Court said there must be special circumstances to order a warrantless blood test — such as the officer's involvement in a lengthy accident-scene investigation.

A defense lawyer in Tuesday's case said getting a warrant in Cape Girardeau County typically takes 40 to 90 minutes, even in the middle of the night.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.