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High court OKs no-warrant blood draws in Wisconsin drunken driver case

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court in Washington.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

The Supreme Court says law enforcement officers can generally draw blood without a warrant from an unconscious person suspected of driving while drunk or on drugs.

The high court issued its ruling Thursday in a case involving a Wisconsin law about impaired driving.

The question before the Supreme Court had to do with what happens when a motorist suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unconscious, generally as a result of a crash. The Wisconsin law said that in such cases, blood can be drawn without a warrant.

Lawyers for a driver who had blood drawn under those circumstances had argued that the law violates the 4th Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.

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