Motorists may be pulled over while driving in Birmingham, Titusville, Woodlawn, Red Mountain and surrounding areas. However, law enforcement is not permitted to stop your vehicle unless they have reasonable cause to believe you have violated a law. If you are pulled over for breaking a traffic rule, police are not legally allowed to ask you to submit to a test of your blood-alcohol concentration unless there is cause to believe you've been drinking.
If police do suspect you are intoxicated, then they can ask you to have your blood, breath or urine tested to determine if you are above the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol concentration. If you are found to have consumed too much, you will be charged with DUI in Alabama. The evidence of your BAC is very important in drunk driving cases, which is why it matters so much that a new case in Colorado regarding blood testing of suspected drunk drivers has now made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supreme Court to Consider Drunk Driving Blood Tests
When the U.S. Supreme Court rules on an issue, that ruling applies to all states throughout the United States. This means that while the specific case arose out of Colorado, the issues and relevant decision will affect defendants accused of driving impaired in Alabama.
The case arises out of a situation where a driver entered a busy intersection at rush hour and hit an oncoming car. The Denver Post reports that officers responded to the collision around 7:15 in the morning. The driver seemed disoriented and was not speaking clearly. The responding officers thought this may have been because of being stuck by an airbag, but it may also have been due to intoxication.
When the driver was taken to the hospital, a different officer smelled alcohol on him. This officer was the fourth to have contact with the driver. The officer tried to tell the driver he was planning on taking a blood test, but the sleeping or unconscious driver never responded. The driver's blood was subsequently taken one hour post-collision. He was found to be three times over-the-limit.
The officer, however, never attempted to obtain a warrant for the blood test before it was administered. Based on the information obtained in the search, the driver faces four criminal charges including driving under the influence and vehicular assault. He is pleading not guilty and alleging that the evidence of his intoxication should not be considered because no warrant was obtained before the blood test.
The Colorado Supreme Court threw out the results of the blood draw, ruling they cannot be used because of the lack of a formal warrant. The decision has been appealed and the Supreme Court will consider the issue. The case has major implications for law enforcement officers and potential drunk drivers because it will determine whether officers everywhere can move forward with this kind of testing with no formal warrant.
Contact Barclay Law at 866-584-1023 or visit https://www.jmbarclaylaw.com to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in Birmingham. Serving South Side, Titusville, Red Mountain, Woodlawn, Ensley and surrounding areas.