DUI Blood Test Warrant | Missouri Law vs. McNeely | Supreme Court Decision

Justice Sotomayor delivered the opinion of the US Supreme Court concluding that a warrant is needed for a blood test to confirm a DUI.

MISSOURI v. MCNEELY

No. 11–1425. Argued January 9, 2013—Decided April 17, 2013

McNeely was stopped by Missouri law enforcement for speeding and crossing the centerline. After declining to take a breath test to measure his blood alcohol concentration (BAC), he was arrested and taken to a nearby hospital for blood testing. The Missouri Law officer never attempted to secure a search warrant. McNeely refused to consent to but the officer directed the hospital lab tech to take a blood sample. McNeely’s BAC tested well above the legal limit, and he was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). He moved to suppress the blood test result, arguing that taking his blood without a warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The trial court agreed, concluding that the exigency exception to the warrant requirement did not apply because, apart from the fact that McNeely’s blood alcohol was dissipating, no circumstances suggested that the officer faced an emergency. The State Supreme Court affirmed, relying on Schmerber v. California, 384 U. S. 757, in which this Court upheld a DWI suspect’s warrantless blood test where the officer “might reasonably have believed that he was confronted with an emergency, in which the delay to obtain a warrant, under the circumstances, threatened ‘the destruction of evidence,’ ” id., at 770. This case, the state court found, involved a routine DWI investigationwhere no factors other than the natural dissipation of blood alcohol suggested that there was an emergency, and, thus, the nonconsensual warrantless test violated McNeely’s right to be free from unreasonable searches of his person.

Held: The judgment is affirmed.

358 S. W. 3d 65, affirmed.

No. 11-1425
Title:
Missouri, Petitioner
v.
Tyler G. McNeely
Docketed: May 25, 2012
Lower Ct: Supreme Court of Missouri
  Case Nos.: (SC 91850)
  Decision Date: January 17, 2012
  Rehearing Denied: March 6, 2012
 
~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
May 22 2012 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due June 25, 2012)
Jun 8 2012 Order extending time to file response to petition to and including July 25, 2012.
Jul 25 2012 Brief of respondent Tyler G. McNeely in opposition filed.
Aug 8 2012 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of September 24, 2012.
Aug 14 2012 Reply of petitioner Missouri filed. (Distributed)
Sep 25 2012 Petition GRANTED.
Oct 31 2012 SET FOR ARGUMENT ON Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Nov 5 2012 Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for the respondent.
Nov 9 2012 Joint appendix filed. (Statement of costs received)
Nov 9 2012 Brief of petitioner Missouri filed.
Nov 13 2012 Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for the petitioner.
Nov 16 2012 CIRCULATED.
Nov 16 2012 Brief amicus curiae of Mothers Against Drunk Driving filed. (Distributed)
Nov 16 2012 Brief amici curiae of National District Attorneys Association, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Nov 16 2012 Brief amici curiae of Delaware, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Nov 16 2012 Brief amicus curiae of the United States filed. (Distributed)
Dec 10 2012 Brief of respondent Tyler G. McNeely filed. (Distributed)
Dec 10 2012 Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument filed.
Dec 14 2012 Brief amicus curiae of Rutherford Institute filed. (Distributed)
Dec 17 2012 Brief amici curiae of Law Professors filed. (Distributed)
Dec 17 2012 Brief amici curiae of National College for DUI Defense, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Dec 20 2012 Record received from The Supreme Court State of Missouri. (1 Box)
Jan 2 2013 Reply of petitioner Missouri filed. (Distributed)
Jan 4 2013 Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument GRANTED.
Jan 9 2013 Argued. For petitioner: John N. Koester, Jr., Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Jackson, Mo.; and Nicole A. Saharsky, Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C. (for United States, as amicus curiae.) For respondent: Steven R. Shapiro, New York, N. Y.
Apr 17 2013 Adjudged to be AFFIRMED. Sotomayor, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II-A, II-B, and IV, in which Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Kagan, JJ., joined, and an opinion with respect to Parts II-C and III, in which Scalia, Ginsburg, and Kagan, JJ., joined. Kennedy, J., filed an opinion concurring in part. Roberts, C. J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Breyer and Alito, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

 


 

~~Name~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~Address~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Phone~~~
Attorneys for Petitioner:
John N. Koester Jr. Cape Girardeau County, Missouri 100 Court Street (573)-243-2430
    Counsel of Record 100 Court Street, Suite 204
Jackson, MO  63755
jnkoester@capecounty.us
Party name: Missouri
Attorneys for Respondent:
Steven R. Shapiro American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (212) 549-2500
    Counsel of Record 125 Broad Street
New York, NY  10004
sshapiro@aclu.org
Party name: Tyler G. McNeely
Paul R. Wallace Chief of Appeals (302) 577-8500
Criminal Division
Delaware Department of Justice
820 N. French Street, 7th Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
Paul.Wallace@state.de.us
Party name: Delaware, et al.
Other:
David C. Frederick Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C. (202) 326-7900
1615 M Street, N.W., Suite 400
Washington, DC  20036
dfrederick@khhte.com
Party name: Law Professors
Jeffrey T. Green Sidley Austin LLP (202) 736-8000
1501 K Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20005
jgreen@sidley.com
Party name: National College for DUI Defense, et al.
James C. Ho Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (214) 698-3100
2100 McKinney Avenue
Suite 1100
Dallas, TX  75201-6912
JHo@gibsondunn.com
Party name: Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Albert C. Locher National District Attorneys Assn. (703) 549-9222
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 110
Alexandria, VA  22314
lochera@sacda.org
Party name: National District Attorneys Association, et al.
Nicole A. Saharsky Assistant to the Solicitor General (202)-514-2201
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Department of Justice
Washington, DC  20530
Party name: Missouri v. Tyler G. McNeely
Donald B. Verrilli Jr. Solicitor General (202) 514-2217
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC  20530-0001
SupremeCtBriefs@USDOJ.gov
Party name: the United States
John W. Whitehead The Rutherford Institute (434) 978-3888
1440 Sachem Place
Charlottesville, VA  22901
johnw@rutherford.org
Party name: Rutherford Institute

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