Fourth Amendment

CA Court Eases Warrantless Blood Draws

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California's second highest court on Thursday made it easier for police to forcibly draw blood from motorists suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). In coming to this conclusion, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision in seven Alameda County cases brought before the Superior Court's Appellate Division where drivers had their blood taken at a jail facility.

Though the drivers in these cases consented to the blood draw, the circumstances raised enough of a Fourth Amendment consideration for the lower court to find the government's actions illegal. In particular, the judges did not believe that a police officer was qualified to testify that the blood draw was performed by a medical professional in an appropriate manner, as required under state law. The Court of Appeal stepped in to set a precedent restoring the state's ability to perform warrantless blood draws in a wider variety of circumstances.

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