Warrantless DWI Tests Tossed in McNeely Opinion by Supreme Court

Today the United States Supreme Court decided the DWI case of McNeely v. Missouri. We have previously blogged on this case several times. In summary, the high Court said that police cannot take a DWI blood sample from a driver without his consent where they also did not have a warrant. This means that Warrantless DWI Tests are unconstitutional, illegal, and should not be allowed. Thus any DWI test evidence gathered without a warrant should be tossed out by a Judge.

Because the police in the Missouri case did NOT have a warrant, and didn’t’ even try to get one, AND because the driver refused to consent to testing, the Supreme Court ruled that the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated. Therefore the results of the DWI blood test, and the criminal charge based on it, were tossed out, or suppressed and dismissed, by the U.S. Supreme Court.

This case means that, since Warrantless DWI testing has now been declared illegal by the highest court in the land, overruling prior Minnesota cases, the theoretical underpinnings of all of Minnesota DWI criminal laws and implied consent laws are ALL gone.  This includes the bizarre “crime” of DWI test refusal, which only exists in Minnesota and a few other states.

Minnesota DWI Attorney Max A. Keller, and other leading criminal defense attorneys, are still digesting & sifting through his far-reaching case which has obliterated Minnesota’s criminal DWI and implied consent pre-conviction driver’s licsense case law. So, for a more in-depth analysis, check back here later.  In the meantime, you may want to read this analysis by a leading national commentator on the SCOTUS website.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.