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Do the police always need a warrant to take blood for a DUI?

Did you know that the police don't always need to have warrants to obtain a blood alcohol test using your blood instead of a breath sample? According to a decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court, the blood test previously suppressed in a case against a Rhode Island woman can be allowed in court.

The then-28-year-old woman was charged with driving under the influence, vehicular assault and vehicular homicide. She caused a crash that resulted in the death of one person and caused injuries to two others.

How could the police get away with taking blood without a warrant?

In this case, the court believed that there were exigent conditions that meant the police could get blood before getting the warrant. They believed the alcohol would have metabolized before a sample could be taken with a warrant. Additionally, since the crash was so serious that the Jaws of Life had to be used, the court believed taking blood was a necessity at that time.

The defense argued that the police actually waited hours before the blood draw, giving them plenty of time to get a warrant. The defense attorney argued that it is always the case that a warrant is needed before an officer can get a blood sample instead of a breath test. Under the Fourth Amendment, individuals have a right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure, which, in this case, the defense believes was violated. The defense intends to appeal the case and work toward a resolution that protects their client's interests and civil rights by law.

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