Can Police Force Me to Take a DUI Blood Test?

blood alchol content, driving under the influence, Illinois criminal defense lawyer,The questions of if and when police officers may force a medical procedure on you to gather evidence that can later be used against you, often comes up in the context of DUIs. This is because evidence of intoxication can be found in someone’s blood stream for some time after he or she has consumed alcohol or drugs. The answers to these questions depend on a weighing of the police officer’s need to gather evidence against an individual’s privacy needs. While police officers generally need warrants to get a DUI blood test, there are some instances when police officers, or doctors working on their behalf, can get blood tests done without your permission.

Protections Offered by the Fourth Amendment

Police requiring a blood test from a person would be considered a search under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Fourth Amendment searches are supposed to be reasonable. This means that in most cases, the police are supposed to seek a warrant before conducting a search. A warrant is required even in a routine DUI case, at least in most cases. The U.S. Supreme Court has carved out certain situations in which a warrant is not required. These situations are called exigent circumstances. The police do not need a warrant, for example, if you give your consent, or if there is a danger that evidence will be destroyed before the police can get a warrant.

In DUI cases, a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) lowers as a person stops drinking, and keeps dropping thereafter. Various factors affect BAC, such as gender and body weight. In some ways, the evidence of the intoxication is continuously disappearing. Despite the way BAC changes as a person sobers up, the Supreme Court interprets the U.S. Constitution to still require police officers to seek a warrant before taking a blood test for a routine DUI stop. If there are no exigent circumstances, and the person does not give consent, the police have to get a warrant for a blood test. The longer it takes for a blood test to be drawn, for example, as police wait for a warrant, the more likely the BAC will lower. You should also note that agreeing to a DUI blood test or being forced to give blood for evidence in a DUI case is not considered self-incrimination against the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

Illinois is an implied consent state. This means that any Illinois driver is considered to have consented to blood, urine, and breath tests for evidence of DUI, just by driving on Illinois roads. This still does not mean that you absolutely have no choice when you are stopped for a DUI. You can still refuse to give consent to a DUI blood test when asked. However, if you refuse to submit to these tests when requested, your driver’s license can be suspended on that basis.

Contact A DUI Attorney

If you have been arrested for a DUI, and you were forced to take a blood test or another sobriety test without your permission or a warrant, contact a knowledgeable Naperville DUI attorney at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC for a consultation on your case. We are prepared to help you immediately.