Does law enforcement have the right to use search warrants in order to obtain a blood sample from a suspected impaired driver? The constitutionality of this question is being considered by the Minnesota Supreme Court this week. In Stearns County and in the city of St. Cloud, search warrants are required for drivers who will not voluntarily submit to a chemical test that will measure their blood alcohol content.
The Minnesota Statues under Minnesota DWI laws have an implied consent advisory which state that the refusal to a chemical test is a crime. Opponents say that the law is unconstitutionally coercive because of the criminal penalty that is administered to those who refuse to take a test when suspected of impaired driving.
In the summer of 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments from a similar case coming from Missouri. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that a law enforcement officer must consider more than the dissipation of alcohol and potentially destroyed evidence when deciding to obtain a search warrant.
Minnesota is a state that considers the dissipation of alcohol enough reason to obtain a search warrant and a legal blood draw by law enforcement.
The case of Minnesota v. Brooks was sent back from the U.S. Supreme Court after the case of Missouri v. McNeely was heard.