U.S. Supreme Court: Search Warrant Not Needed For Breath Test
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States Supreme Court has upheld a Minnesota state law that makes it a crime for drivers to refuse a breath test. However, the Justices rules today (Thursday) that police will need to get a search warrant before they take a blood test.
Phil Kronebusch is a political science professor at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. He says the court made a clear distinction between the two.
What the court said is the demand for a blood test violated that persons 4th Amendment Rights against unreasonable searches. So, North Dakota cannot demand a blood test.
Kronebusch says today's (Thursday) ruling means Minnesota's law does not change.
The Minnesota case involved just a breathlyzer test. The Supreme Court considered that less intrusive than a blood test. So, that can be demanded and Minnesota can make it a separate crime to refuse a breathalyzer.
There were two distentions, Justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor wanted the requirement of a search warrant for either a breath test or a blood test.