Cases of driving under the influence (DUI) can become incredibly complicated if a person suspected of a DUI is unconscious at the scene of a crime. For example, if a person was driving under the influence of alcohol and crashed into a tree, he or she might be unconscious by the time law enforcement arrives. While Idaho has implied consent laws in place, what happens if a person is unable to give verbal consent to a blood draw?
While all Idaho drivers are obligated to take blood, breath, or urine tests if they are arrested for a DUI, an unconscious person can’t understand what’s happening in the situation. Ordinarily, a conscious person would be told refusing to take the test would lead to a fine of $250 and a license suspension. An unconscious person might not have that information. Likewise, in Idaho, even a conscious person can decide to take the penalties rather than giving their blood.
In April of 2016, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled police officers couldn’t take blood from a suspect without having a warrant first. This decision follows one made by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling the natural metabolism of alcohol in the blood doesn’t alone present an urgent need that justifies taking blood without the required 4th Amendment warrant.
However, the ruling also specified the justification must be determined on a case-by-case basis. There are some circumstances where authorities might be able to use evidence from a warrantless blood draw if they can show it was impossible or impractical to get a warrant in time before the alcohol was no longer present in the bloodstream. Many law enforcement agencies are able to obtain a warrant in time because of how fast technology has made the process.
If your blood was drawn without a warrant or your consent, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our skilled Pocatello DUI lawyers as soon as possible. DUI convictions can lead to high fines, jail time, and the loss of driving privileges. Let us see what we can do to defend your rights and freedom.
Contact us at (208) 623-8021 or fill out our online form to schedule your case consultation today.