Rapid City, SD- A recent decision from the South Dakota Supreme Court has delivered yet another blow to the state’s implied consent laws after a ruling police must obtain a warrant for a blood test. Now, there is some speculation that South Dakota’s implied consent laws could be overturned.
The most recent case before the state Supreme Court involved a Rapid City man who was charged with DUI and refusal in May of 2014. The Rapid City Journal reports that after being pulled over, a police officer informed the man at the center of the case that under state implied consent law, he must submit to a blood test, but then later asked the suspect if he would submit to a blood test.
The state high court said that the man was not aware that he could refuse a breath test and ruled that the arresting officer did not have enough probable cause to justify a warrantless blood draw.
Just a few months following this man’s arrest, the state Supreme Court came to the same conclusion in the case involving a woman who refused a blood test when she was stopped by police.
These rulings echo the sentiment of the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled in 2013 that warrantless blood tests are a violation of a person’s constitutional rights. In that decision, the court ruled that police can only conduct a warrantless blood test if the suspected intoxicated driver was involved in a fatal or injurious accident.
In both of these cases, the South Dakota Supreme Court established that there was not enough probable cause for an officer to draw either of the defendants’ blood without a warrant. The court affirmed that a blood test is invasive enough that it is a violation of a person’s right against unreasonable search and seizure and should not be performed unless an officer gets and warrant.
To many in the legal community, these two decisions signal the final death knell for the state’s implied consent laws.
These two cases also show the importance of a having a good DUI attorney in South Dakota working on your defense. One of the cornerstones of an effective defense is questioning an officer’s probable cause to pull over a motorist for drunken driving since the law forbids officers from stopping a motorist simply to find out if they are driving while intoxicated.
If you have be charged with a DUI in Rapid City or nearby location, you are urged to contact a DUI attorney in their area immediately. You need to fight a DUI conviction, otherwise you could find yourself facing up to a year in jail, paying fines of up to a $1,000 and losing your license for at least six months, perhaps longer. Those are just the tip of the iceberg and the consequences of a DUI conviction can reach into a person’s personal and professional lives. Don’t take risks with your future and retain a DUI attorney in South Dakota today.