Being arrested under suspicion of drunk driving can be a frightening and humiliating experience. Often, law enforcement officials pressure suspects into submitting to chemical or breath testing using strong-arm tactics and informing them of the administrative sanctions that can occur from a chemical test refusal. The truth of the matter is that we all have the right against self-incrimination, and may refuse breath or blood testing. The reason that there are any sanctions at all stems from something called “implied consent;” which means that anyone who is driving a motor vehicle has impliedly consented to chemical testing if they are under suspicion of driving while under the influence. While courts have upheld this idea, people still have the right to refuse. Due to the potentially serious consequences involved with driving under the influence, anyone facing a DUI case should retain the services of an experienced Philadelphia DUI attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at The Zeiger Firm will represent you against charges of driving under the influence.
Earlier this year, a case went before the United States Supreme Court in which the state of Missouri argued that a person suspected of driving under the influence could be subjected to a warrantless blood draw based on the exigent circumstances exception to the 4th Amendment. Under this exception, police may search or seize a person or evidence without a warrant based on the fact that obtaining a warrant may risk the destruction of evidence, as well as in a few other circumstances. In this case, Missouri argued that waiting to obtain a warrant was akin to allowing evidence to be destroyed, based on the fact that while waiting the alcohol in a suspect’s blood was being metabolized. The Supreme Court disagreed, saying that the metabolization of alcohol does not create a per se exigent circumstance, and that each case must be decided on the “totality of the circumstances.”
So, can police force a warrantless blood draw on a person suspected of DUI? As in many legal questions, the answer is “it depends.” While frustrating for many people facing a DUI case, the truth of the matter is that this answer opens a window for a defense attorney to potentially get adverse evidence thrown out. Often, when lacking key evidence such as BAC levels or other indications of intoxication, a DUI case must be dropped or may even be dismissed by a judge. Even if BAC evidence is not suppressed, there are many ways in which an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney may be able to defend against allegations of DUI.
Contact a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer today for a free consultation
If you are facing allegations of DUI in Pennsylvania, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Brian Zeiger is a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands how to get his clients the most favorable result possible. In keeping with his commitment to pursing justice for the criminally accused, his piece advocating for easing the criteria allowing victims of police brutality to sue was recently published in the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Zeiger, call our office today at (215) 546-0340.