DUI Update: U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Minnesota Breath Test DUI Law, Effect on Kansas DUI Laws Remains Unclear

The United States Supreme Court has decided that part of a Minnesota law making it a separate crime to refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer or blood test by those suspected of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) by law enforcement is valid, while part of it is unconstitutional as an unreasonable violation of Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

The Court ruled in a 5-3 decision that breath tests without a warrant are constitutional, but that requiring a blood test under a similar set of facts without a warrant would not stand up to constitutional scrutiny.

'The Fourth Amendment does not require officers to obtain a warrant prior to demanding the test and (the defendant) had no right to refuse it...because breath tests are significantly less intrusive than blood tests and in most cases amply serve law enforcement interests, we conclude that a breath test, but not a blood test, may be administered as a search incident to a lawful arrest for drunk driving.' Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the decision.

In February of this year, the Kansas Supreme Court in a 6-1 decision struck down a Kansas law passed in 2012 that had criminalized DUI test refusals of breath and blood tests, emphasizing that civil penalties for refusing to submit to a test that include loss of driving privileges already penalize the driver accused of DUI, and that criminal penalties for the accompanying DUI charge itself remain in effect.

Confused with the ever-changing DUI laws in Kansas and Missouri ? Charged with a DUI in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area?

We represent clients on both sides of the State Line in Missouri and Kansas, in Johnson, Wyandotte, Jackson, Cass, Platte, and Clay County Courts, as well as all Municipal Courts, including Kansas City, Missouri, Overland Park, Kansas, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa, Mission and the other more than fifty municipalities in the area.

Contact our office today at 913 383 3311 or 816 361 0964 or submit a Free Consult Form on our website today for a free initial consultation.

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