When an accident occurs and it is suspected that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence, local police will arrive on scene and are expected to follow certain protocols where they assess the incident and take action. There are specific guidelines and rules officers must abide by so that if they believe a person is intoxicated, their charges will hold and the guilty individual is convicted of the crime. But when an officer fails to comply with these laws, they risk the chance of any evidence obtained to be thrown out. That is the current issue that has one case in California still being deliberated on.
California Woman Fighting DUI Charges After Killing 6 People
Back in 2014, Olivia Carolee Culbreath was involved in a wrong-way accident where she traveled up the wrong side of westbound 60 Freeway around 4:45 a.m. Her vehicle crashed head-on into a sport utility vehicle and then into another SUV. Two passengers in the vehicle with Culbreath were killed in the crash along with the four individuals who were traveling in the SUV. All four of those passengers were thrown from the vehicle where they died on impact.
Now, while it is obvious that Culbreath was the cause of the crash and the arresting officer believed that she was under the influence, someone made a mistake in collecting evidence which is why Culbreath has hired a Los Angeles, CA DUI attorney to represent her and fight the charges that have been pinned on her. She is currently facing six counts of murder for the people she has killed according to the Daily Bulletin.
Apparently, Culbreath wasn’t conscious when she was transported to the hospital after the accident, yet a blood sample was taken. This means she did not give consent to do so and surprisingly, the officer who accompanied her never obtained a warrant to take the sample. According to him, he wasn’t aware of who the arresting officer was which is why he didn’t obtain a warrant.
Now, Culbreath and her Los Angeles DUI lawyer are fighting to have this evidence removed from the case.
The Question Remains: Can an Officer Take a Blood Sample Without a Warrant?
There are certain circumstances where a blood test can be administered for a sample without a person’s consent, but an officer does need to have a warrant to do so. In today’s day and age, it is rather easy for a police officer to get a warrant, and some departments even allow one to be issued over the phone. In Culbreath’s case, that wasn’t done which means her results may very well be removed. This is a prime example of when the law becomes tricky and a bit harder to understand. Therefore, anyone who is facing a DUI charge should hire a local California DUI attorney to ensure their rights weren’t overlooked during the time of their arrest.