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Implied Consent and the Fourth Amendment in DUI Cases

Posted on in DUI

implied consent, Fourth Amendment, Arlington Heights family law attorneyIn the state of Illinois, just as in most states in this country, when a person gets their driver’s license, there is “implied consent” that the person will submit to testing to gather a sample of their blood, breath, or urine to law enforcement if they have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a person refuses to submit to that testing, their licence will be automatically suspended for one year. If it is their second or subsequent refusal, they will automatically have their license suspended for three years. This suspension of driving privileges is separate from the actual driving under the influence (DUI) charge or penalties if they are found guilty. However, a ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court regarding implied consent could have far reaching consequences on every state’s implied consent laws.

The case in question involved a man who was arrested in 2012 and charged with drunk driving. According to court records, the man was not advised of his Miranda rights, but the arresting officer read an implied consent notice and told the man to answer yes or no. The man was then taken to a medical facility where he had blood and urine samples taken.

Ability to Grant Consent?

During his trial, the defense attempted to have the blood test thrown out as evidence, based on the fact that it was obtained without a search warrant and was therefore a violation of the man’s Fourth Amendment rights. The defense argued that the man was too intoxicated to have given his consent. The judge refused to suppress the test, and later found the man guilty of DUI. The man appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, which agreed that the man was too drunk to comply and the evidence should have been tossed out.

Since the ruling, a similar defense has been used multiple times in various courts and has worked. It may seem ironic, that a defense attorney argues to the court that his client was too intoxicated to consent to testing, while the prosecutor argues that that the client was not too drunk to make the decision.  

Could this defense work in an Illinois courtroom? It is only a matter of time before the constitutionality of each state’s implied consent law is called into question regarding the taking of blood from an individual.

Protect Your Rights

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving, contact an experienced Arlington Heights defense attorney to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected during the legal process. Call Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law at 847-253-3400 today.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.1

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/georgia-drivers-claim-they-were-too-drunk-to-conse/npBjj/

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