20 Ocak 2017 Cuma Breaking News             Latest US News            New York

Meet 'Bridges,' a computer that beats you at poker while decoding your genome
As drivers were warned numerous times over the July 4 holiday weekend, driving drunk not only is dangerous and could kill people, but also brings severe penalties. Just before the holiday, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared up what penalties can be imposed on...

Ruling on blood, Breathalyzer splits the Fourth Amendment

As drivers were warned numerous times over the July 4 holiday weekend, driving drunk not only is dangerous and could kill people, but also brings severe penalties. Just before the holiday, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared up what penalties can be imposed on...

Ruling on blood, Breathalyzer splits the Fourth Amendment

As drivers were warned numerous times over the July 4 holiday weekend, driving drunk not only is dangerous and could kill people, but also brings severe penalties. Just before the holiday, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared up what penalties can be imposed on those suspected of drunk driving.

When someone is pulled over in a vehicle on suspicion of drunk driving, the person automatically faces a suspension of their license if he or she refuses a Breathalyzer, blood or urine test. In California, the person’s refusal, according to Section 23612 of the Vehicle Code, “will result in a fine [and] mandatory imprisonment if the person is convicted of a violation.” The key is there would have to be a court trial for the conviction.

It’s called “implied consent.” That is, when you’re issued a license by the DMV, you consent to follow all California and local driving laws. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23601, a blood-alcohol content of “0.08 percent or more, by weight” means the person is presumed to be “under the influence of an alcoholic beverage at the time of the alleged offense.”

However, some states, including North Dakota and Minnesota, imposed a mandatory conviction even without a trial. The Supreme Court combined three cases in Birchfield v. North Dakota. Plaintiff Danny Birchfield, after being convicted of not consenting to a blood test without a police search warrant, objected that his Fourth Amendment right to protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures” was being violated.

The court sided with Birchfield on the blood test question, but held that Breathalyzer tests do not require a search warrant. The case at issue there was Bernard v. Minnesota, in which William Bernard Jr. refused a breath test and automatically was convicted.

As Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court, “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. As in all cases involving reasonable searches incident to arrest, a warrant is not needed in this situation.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor concurred with the opinion, but partly dissented, writing of the blood-test portion, “This court has never said that mere convenience in gathering evidence justifies an exception to the warrant requirement. I fear that if the court continues down this road, the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement will become nothing more than a suggestion.”

We agree with Sotomayor that it is essential to preserve the protections promised by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Consstitution. For California, current law fortunately does not go as far as the court allowed and should not be changed.

Some states imposed a mandatory conviction even without a trial.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

Breaking News Headlines

Rain forces North Coast vineyard workers to hustle on pruning duties
Rain forces North Coast vineyard workers to hustle on pruning duties
Miguel Ferrer, star of 'RoboCop' and 'Twin Peaks,' dies at 61
Miguel Ferrer, star of 'RoboCop' and 'Twin Peaks,' dies at 61
Auguste Rodin exhibit, 'Rent,' ballet and more: Arts Best Bets Jan 20-26
Auguste Rodin exhibit, 'Rent,' ballet and more: Arts Best Bets Jan 20-26
Twitter Reportedly Testing New Layout With Timeline-Like Format For Moments
Twitter Reportedly Testing New Layout With Timeline-Like Format For Moments
Rare photo of Frederic Chopin probably found | Toronto Star
Rare photo of Frederic Chopin probably found  | Toronto Star
From SNL to The Onion, comedy bids farewell to Joe Biden | Toronto Star
From SNL to The Onion, comedy bids farewell to Joe Biden  | Toronto Star
Carrie Fisher’s ‘Just for Laughs’ comedy special to air on Saturday | Toronto Star
Carrie Fisher’s ‘Just for Laughs’ comedy special to air on Saturday | Toronto Star
'Jitney' Broadway review: A stirring completion of August Wilson's Century Cycle
'Jitney' Broadway review: A stirring completion of August Wilson's Century Cycle
QUIZ: How well do you really know New Jersey diners?
QUIZ: How well do you really know New Jersey diners?
Google Having A Hard Time Matching Pixel, Pixel XL Demand
Google Having A Hard Time Matching Pixel, Pixel XL Demand
Is Toby Keith Racist? 'Beer For My Horses' Is Not Pro-Lynching Anthem, Says Country Singer Headlining Pre-Inaugural Festivities
Is Toby Keith Racist?  'Beer For My Horses' Is Not Pro-Lynching Anthem, Says Country Singer Headlining Pre-Inaugural Festivities
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg trying to buy out land near his Hawaii estate
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg trying to buy out land near his Hawaii estate
NEWS ARCHIVES