Santa Rosa DUI Enforcement and Warrantless Blood Draws

santa rosa dui enforcement, santa rosa dui lawyerSanta Rosa dui enforcement officers have a variety of evidence-gathering techniques they may employ in order to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These include simple observations of a person’s appearance and behavior, administering a field sobriety test, or the chemical testing of a person’s blood, breath, or urine. Under California’s implied consent law, drivers who drive on public roads impliedly consent to these types of chemical tests if an officer has probable cause to believe that he or she is drunk. This means that, although you can refuse a test, the state can impose the administrative penalty of license suspension for doing so.

California law imposes strict penalties for people caught driving while drunk, even for a first offense. As a result, it is important that people accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) retain legal counsel as soon as possible. In many cases, an experienced attorney can spot issues with the way that an officer conducted a DUI investigation that may result in a court dropping the case against you.

Protection from Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the police from engaging in unreasonable searches and seizures.

Warrantless searches and seizures are presumably unreasonable, unless they fall within one of the myriad exceptions to this rule. One of these exceptions applies when there is an imminent risk that evidence material to the commission of a crime will be lost or destroyed if there is any delay.

The 4th Amendment and Warrantless Blood Draws

In the recent case of Missouri v. McNeely, the United States Supreme Court considered whether a warrantless forced blood test of a man suspected of DUI violated the 4th Amendment. While sticking a needle into a person’s arm would normally constitute a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment, the state of Missouri argued that the natural dissipation of alcohol from a driver’s blood stream constituted an exigent circumstance. The Supreme Court disagreed, instead holding that, while in some cases such a warrantless blood draw is justified, the metabolization of alcohol itself did not constitute an exigent circumstance.

Other 4th Amendment Issues May Arise in a Santa Rosa DUI Enforcement Investigation

Even if there was not a warrantless blood draw in your case, there are several other ways that 4th Amendment violations can occur when a law enforcement officer is investigating a potential DUI. In most cases, when you are stopped by police, it is considered a seizure of your person, and any intrusion into your private space, including your vehicle, is considered a search. Some of the other ways that police may violate the 4th Amendment include:

  • Pulling you over for no reason;
  • Searching your vehicle without probable cause;
  • Arresting you without probable cause;
  • Performing a more extensive search than is legally authorized.

In many criminal cases, police escalate their investigation of an individual in a way that may violate the 4th Amendment. As a result, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to keep any evidence obtained during such an investigation out of court.

Contact a Santa Rosa DUI Defense Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

A California DUI conviction can cause serious consequences that affect you for years. As a result, anyone facing a DUI case in Santa Rosa or the surrounding areas of Petaluma, Ukiah, or Lake County California should call Beck Law P.C. at (707) 576-7175 to schedule a consultation with a dui defense attorney.

Related Blog Posts

Warrantless Blood Draws Can Be Unconstitutional
Supreme Court to Hear an Involuntary DUI Blood Test Case

Disclaimer

The information on this website should not be considered to be legal advice, nor construed to be the formation of any manner of attorney client relationship. Prior to taking any form of legal action, please consult with an attorney experienced in the appropriate area of law germane to your situation. Case results and any blogs, reviews, news or testimonials presented on www.duibecklaw.com or any of its related websites are germane to the facts present for each individual case and is not a promise of similar outcomes for any other cases. This website is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California. by Attorney Daniel B. Beck