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FMG Law Blog Line

Does the Fourth Amendment Allow a Forced Blood Draw After a DUI Arrest?

Posted on: January 14th, 2013

By: Sun Choy

The Supreme Court will answer this question in Missouri v. McNeely.  It is well established that the Fourth Amendment allows a warrantless search under exigent circumstances.  During the oral argument last week, the Court suggested that increased technology may diminish the need for warrantless searches.  With advancements in instant communications, a warrant may be a few text messages away.  Of course, this is an over simplification, but it raises some intriguing questions about the role of technology in law enforcement.  With existing technology, one can easily envision a procedure where an officer appears before a neutral magistrate via a smart phone video feed and an electronic warrant is issued via email.  Accordingly, technology may render warrantless searches less reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.  It will be interesting to see how the Court addresses this interplay between technology and the Fourth Amendment in Missouri v. McNeely.

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