Recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court will affect various aspects of life. One of the aspects that many people will notice is that of drunk driving stops. The Supreme Court recently decided that Breathalyzer tests don't require a search warrant, but that blood tests to determine a driver's blood alcohol concentration do require a search warrant.
Many people have applauded the requirement of a search warrant for a blood test, but they might need to reconsider that applause. Think about it this way -- getting a search warrant isn't that difficult, so requiring one for a blood test to be done simply means that drivers will have to submit to the test as long as the officer takes the step to get the blood sample. That means that drivers will essentially be required to provide evidence against themselves in a drunk driving case since the BAC is a crucial component in the case.
The concept of implied consent is one that some drivers are familiar with. This concept means that if you have a driver's license, you agree to tests to determine BAC. It is widely known that Breathalyzer tests are one of the methods that are used to determine BAC. Law enforcement officers can still request these tests without a warrant. Drivers do have the right to refuse, but will have to face consequences of that decision.
It will be interesting to see how this ruling affects drunk driving cases in Maryland. Determining how all of this affects your case is imperative so that you can decide if your defense needs to be altered.
Source: Business Insider, "Drunken-driving convictions could increase because of the Supreme Court's recent ruling," Jeremy Berke, June 29, 2016