“Unconscious DUI Consent” To Go Before SCOTUS This Week

Does being unconscious mean that a suspected drunk driver has given consent to have his or her blood drawn by the police? That’s the crux of a case from Wisconsin that the Supreme Court agreed to hear this week.

“Provisions like Wisconsin’s are widespread: twenty-nine states have laws sanctioning warrantless blood draws from unconscious intoxicated driving suspects,” the petition states. “This case is an opportunity for the court to resolve an important constitutional question: can state Legislatures obviate the warrant requirement by ‘deeming’ their citizens to have consented to Fourth Amendment searches?”” More

14 Comments on “Unconscious DUI Consent” To Go Before SCOTUS This Week

  1. The idiot gave his consent, so that’s on him. I don’t know how this case got this far.

    Although concerning the principle of “warrantless consent”, the Supremes NEED to rule against themselves, I.E., THE STATE.

  2. Florida is one of the states with “implied consent”, which means we give consent to DUI testing by accepting a driver’s license. This will be a major shift in legal theory if it changes.

  3. “Florida is one of the states with “implied consent”, which means we give consent to DUI testing by accepting a driver’s license. ”

    Do you give consent to be forcibly restrained to have blood drawn? We have a county here in Georgia has done that multiple times.

    I think I could make a good argument that testing an unconscious person without a warrant being OK with the law would be the same as searching your house without one as long as you aren’t home.

    However the SC has already gutted the 4th, so that may be fine as things stand.

  4. “…upon the request of a law enforcement officer who had probable cause to believe he was intoxicated, unless he withdrew such consent,…”

    He was unconscious. Apparently intoxicated.
    Are legally binding decisions of intoxicated persons legally binding? Was any agreement in writing, or other verifiable form? If the intoxicated man was unconscious, how could it be confirmed that he did not revoke consent? They should have stayed with the 0.24 breathalyzer test, then they wouldn’t have all this before them.
    It is the supreme court, though, so who knows how it will turn out. If you don’t need to be present to vote in the SC, then it won’t surprise me that they find that an unconscious person can make legally binding decisions, intoxicated or not.

  5. You consent to having your house searched without a warrant when you apply for your building permit and when you apply for your utility meter.

  6. Wait, the 2cnd Amendment is a right, the ability to get licensed to drive is a privilege. How come the Supremes keep ducking 2A law suits but agreed to hear this?

  7. I think in states with advance consent, you have to “revoke” the consent (and then they revoke your driver license, but it’s better than a conviction.)

    But I’m wondering… Is drunk girl who originally agreed, un-drunk, to go to a boy’s dorm room to have sex automatically considered to have “revoked” her consent because now she’s drunk? Because if so, then every unconscious person who cannot “revoke” their previously given consent has, effectively, not consented.

  8. Lowell, I think the standard is blood can be drawn in cases of death or injury (which is almost every wreck with total speeds of about 40 mph or more, plus every pedestrian/bicycle/motorcycle wreck).

  9. Democrats and Police

    “Everything is legal unless the law and the courts specifically say it’s not.”

    You are never given the benefit of the doubt.

  10. A driver’s license is NOT a “privilege.”
    A “license” is issued after you have successfully proved that you know (and understand) how to drive a motor vehicle and the laws pertaining thereto.
    You pay for the road, you pay for the fuel, you pay for the vehicle, you pay for the maintenance, you pay for the cops to “enforce” (collect revenue from) the “rules of the road,” and you pay for the traffic courts to adjudicate those rules.
    Your “license” can be revoked if you (repeatedly) display an incompetence, or ignorance, or unwillingness to abide by the strictures of your “license.”
    Blood alcohol levels are inconsequential (in the great cosmic scheme) and the incompetence should be the issue.
    There is never an “implied consent” – that “consent” should be explicitly stated in the license application process – signed and witnessed.

    This simple procedure would eliminate mountains of bullshit – but, of course, it would cut down on legal fees – so it won’t be considered.

    izlamo delenda est …

  11. I stand corrected today…a blood draw without consent requires a search warrant unless “exigent circumstances” can be shown, which usually means no judge is available to sign a warrant within a reasonable time.


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